“The development of the Project SCOPE curriculum ensures that we will have a well-prepared, well-educated workforce for the future.”

Former U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski

With the onslaught of thousands of new jobs created in Maryland, a significant number of those jobs need to be filled by new workers in a full spectrum of disciplines, with an emphasis on information technology, life sciences and general management, along with building trades. Most direct and indirect positions require security clearances.

In an effort to help businesses and the government fill this need, the Fort Meade Alliance debuted the first phase of Project SCOPE in 2009. Project SCOPE (Security Clearance Overview and Preparation Education) provides middle and high school students with an overview of the importance of being able to obtain security clearances in possible future careers. Local business officials from various backgrounds such as law enforcement, information technology, construction, engineering, and office management, speak directly to students to educate them on the importance of being able to qualify for a security clearance.

The second phase of Project SCOPE, which debuted in June 2011, provides a thorough understanding of the security clearance process for those who are looking for a job in Maryland — targeting 2- and 4-year college graduates and professionals re-entering the job market or changing careers. Project SCOPE College/Workforce details the process of obtaining security clearances, what types of clearances are available and necessary for different work, as well as general information to assist in the job search and interview process. Professionals in this region who have security clearances have signed on to be part of the Speakers Bureau to give job applicants the opportunity to hear from someone who has gone through the security clearance process.

In addition, the Fort Meade Alliance, in partnership with the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation (AAWDC), provided detailed education and dispelled myths about the security clearance process to more than 500 transitioning workers in Maryland during more than 80 sessions. The Project SCOPE sessions were made possible via a federal grant administered by AAWDC. The Fort Meade Alliance worked closely with AAWDC to coordinate the sessions and bring this valuable information to Marylanders around the state. Originally, the grant was to end in December 2012, but was extended in January 2013 for six more months due to the popularity of the program. The extension added additional components including a Project SCOPE website update, virtual training classes and marketing efforts at industry conferences.

For more information, go to www.project-scope.org