Teaming up to train, recruit cyber specialists

Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos will work with Bechtel to provide hands-on experience in both national security and industry environments.

National Labs Bechtel training program

Two of the Department of Energy's advanced research laboratories are joining with Bechtel to recruit and train cybersecurity specialists to protect critical infrastructure.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said in a July 15 statement that it was joining Bechtel BNI and Los Alamos National Laboratory in a program aimed at training a new class of cyber defense professionals. Bechtel co-manages both labs with the University of California and other partners.

Bechtel announced the program, which includes multiyear positions for early-career professionals in cybersecurity fields, on July 14. The organizations will recruit and cultivate cybersecurity experts who can gain experience in national security and private-sector environments.

According to Lawrence Livermore, program recruits will initially be evenly distributed across the three institutions. After a year of local training, participants will rotate to the other institutions before returning to the hiring organization as a full-time employee. The first two years of the program is being funded by Bechtel.

“Cyber threats pose a danger to the government and the private sector. Bechtel protects assets in both areas and can uniquely join forces with two national laboratories,” Craig Albert, president of Bechtel’s government services business unit, said in the company's statement. “When you combine the resources and expertise of our three organizations, you have a program that will make significant contributions across a broad spectrum of cybersecurity areas.”

Lawrence Livermore said the rotational program helps meet the demand for qualified cyber defenders by training new recruits at an accelerated pace through exposure to various corporate environments in a relatively short period of time.

"This program will provide recruits with experience in the labs' national defense research and development culture and hands-on experience in Bechtel's global cyber operations,” Doug East, CIO at Lawrence, said in the lab’s statement. “Our goal is to produce cyber defenders with first-hand knowledge of the security challenges faced by private industry and the tools to address those problems."

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