There is a critical need for skilled workers in the Fort Meade region in the areas of defense, homeland security and technology as a result of growth from BRAC and cyber-security initiatives. However, there is a real concern that current Maryland students are not interested in these fields, nor are they aware of the job opportunities in their own backyard.
Addressing these concerns has become a priority for the Fort Meade Alliance, which has spearheaded several initiatives to get students on the right path and businesses involved in the education process.
Project SCOPE(Security Clearance Overview and Preparation Education), an initiative of the Fort Meade Alliance with the support of Anne Arundel Community College, was developed to provide introductory and interactive learning tools about security clearances to students from 7th to 12th grades, as well as parents, teachers, guidance counselors and business mentors.
Raising our youth's awareness about security clearances and what it takes to obtain one is essential to the development of Maryland's workforce. The focus of Project SCOPE is just that — to educate youth about the issues surrounding security clearances and how to remain eligible for the myriad of jobs coming to Maryland as a result of the federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process as well as the growth in the government and private sector industries.
In order to assist college graduates and professionals who are re-entering the job market or changing careers, the Fort Meade Alliance created Project SCOPE College/Workforce in June 2011. This program offers a comprehensive look at the security clearance process including the guidelines to obtaining a clearance, how to fill out the appropriate forms and applications and sets the records straight on myths about the process. Project SCOPE College/Workforce also offers an indepth look at the soft skills needed to prepare applicants for entering the job market.
The Fort Meade Alliance’s Tech Mania Day, which takes place in the spring and fall, was created to bolster student’s interest in math-based and science-based careers. The day brings together high school students, school officials and the local business community offering an opportunity to see what new and exciting technologies are happening right in their own backyard.
STEM Family Night, an extension of Tech Mania, is centered around science, technology, engineering and math, also showcases cutting edge technology and hands on demonstrations from local businesses. STEM Family Night was created to engage younger students beginning with elementary school — and their parents — in STEM-inspired career paths.