|Edge on Employment: Fort Meade Grows Beyond BRAC|
Capital Gazette - October 23, 2012, By KIRKLAND J. MURRAY
The federal Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative has led to a more technical and knowledge-based workforce that is fueling the economy and Fort George G. Meade is the epicenter of Anne Arundel County growth.
Spanning five acres and with nearly 57,000 employment positions, 80 percent of which are filled by civilians, Fort Meade is much more than a military base.
According to the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, Fort Meade is home to 95 tenants that include private organizations and companies, with substantial jobs open to the general public. As the need for a highly skilled, technical workforce grows, so does the number of secondary positions to be filled. But first, let’s determine what is and what is not needed to secure employment on Fort Meade.
From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Defense Media Activity, and the Defense Information Systems Agency to Kimbrough Ambulatory Care Center and PNC Bank, Fort Meade is home to a diverse government and non-government business community. The National Security Agency continues to expand, and the cybersecurity industry has exploded, evidenced by the creation of the U.S. Cyber Command.
Private companies, defense contractors especially, are also relocating to, or expanding in, our region offering a steady increase in job opportunities on Fort Meade. The Anne Arundel Economic Development Corp. predicts that by 2016, there will be approximately 26,000 new jobs created on Fort Meade.
Myths vs. truths
While it is believed that jobs on Fort Meade are solely STEM-related and that employees must possess a security clearance or be in the military, a significant percentage of Fort Meade contractors are seeking civilians to fill non-technical positions that do not require security clearance. It is important to decipher the myths to employment from the truths to securing a job on Fort Meade.
Myth — All jobs on Fort Meade require high-tech skills and an advanced degree.
Truth — Fort Meade private companies are seeking candidates with a mix of skills. While it is true that many engineering and IT positions require a high level of education and skill, there is also the need for logistics managers, financial administrators, bookkeepers, telecommunication and human resources staff, administrators and clerical support.
Myth — Security Clearances. You must have a security clearance to work on Fort Meade and if you have: 1) a blemished record; 2) a family member with a criminal record; 3) outstanding student loans; 4) filed for bankruptcy; and/or 5) experienced a foreclosure, you will be eliminated from consideration for a security clearance.
Truth — A security clearance is NOT required for all jobs on Fort Meade. For those jobs that require a security clearance, you may still be able to obtain clearance even if one or all of the above examples apply. A security clearance is not needed to work on Fort Meade, but a thorough background check will be conducted on each employee hired, regardless of the company or government contractor.
Myth — You must be in the military, or willing to enlist in the military, to work on Fort Meade.
Truth — Job seekers are not required to be in or join the military to secure a position on Fort Meade. While active military, veterans and military spouses are encouraged to apply for jobs on Fort Meade, private companies and government contractors are also located on Fort Meade and are currently seeking to hire civilians.
Anne Arundel Career Centers offer training and certifications in project management, administrative skills, finance, and contracting and procurement. Free workshops on federal application and security clearance processes are also available to qualified county residents.
More information will be available at Thursday’s “BRAC and Beyond: Job Growth in the Ft. Meade Region” Town Hall at Arundel High School in Gambrills, where Anne Arundel and Howard County Workforce Development offices will inform the public of job opportunities on Fort Meade. The town hall begins at 7 p.m.
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The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.