Friday, December 9, 2011

Shootings at Virginia Tech and in Caroline County

Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the students, faculty, staff of Virginia Tech and to the families of the victims. Colleges should be places of enlightenment, free of fear. We must not develop a siege mentality and we cannot turn campuses into fortresses. They must remain places where members of our communities are able to come and go freely in order to benefit from all we have to offer.

Germanna has always been a safe place to learn and work. Nonetheless, the college continually takes steps to make our security tighter, smarter and better able to respond to any problem nimbly and effectively, and we will continue to do so. We will review the actions taken at Tech and learn from their responses.

We also send our deepest our concerns and care to the state trooper wounded in Caroline yesterday. Both incidents show that law enforcement personnel daily put themselves at risk to protect and serve all of us.

--Germanna Community College President David A. Sam

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Germanna is a tremendous asset" to national security

Times may be tough, but the Department of Homeland Security is hiring, a crowd of 160 was told today at a Germanna Center for Workforce & Community Education Intelligence & Homeland Security Summit at Fredericksburg Square.
DHS has a $50 billion budget for 500 programs, said summit panel moderator Robert Zitz. Zitz is a Fredericksburg native who is a former Deputy Under Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
He said, the official federal government jobs site, lists 500 pages of DHS job openings, 79 of those pages in Virginia, Washington and Maryland. "They are hiring, but it's important you have the skills," he said. Often, career-switchers can make themselves more marketable to DHS by simply picking up a certification or taking a class. He said Germanna offers many courses that can quickly make an applicant attractive to agencies.
Germanna's Center for Workforce & Community Education is looking at broadening offerings that will help area people get DHS and intelligence community jobs.
GCC President David A. Sam said the college is continually trying to match curriculum with existing job openings. "We know that because of the 'skills gap,' millions of jobs are going unfilled because people lack the training to do them," Sam said.
Zitz thanked Sam, saying "Germanna is a tremendous asset" to national security because of the training it already offers because it allows adults asking "How can I take my life skills and what I've learned in the past and package them in a way that helps" DHS to do so quickly.
"Many people still don't know what DHS is," said panelist Scott Weber, a homeland security analyst who appears frequently on CNBC, Fox News, CNN and BBC Television and is former senior counsel to the Secretary at the Department of Homeland Security. The answer is whatever it takes to keep Americans safe, he said. "Secretary Chertoff used to answer that question by saying DHS is doing its job "Every day something bad doesn't happen."
"At DHS, there are so many job opportunities in so many fields," said panelist Cedric J. Sims, a senior executive who has overseen $6.8 billion in IT investments across DHS and has also been a leader with the Secret Service. "Come to government service," he urged the crowd.
The summit provided an overview of what various agencies do, how they do it, and offered advice on how to pursue jobs at those agencies.
"You really can change the world," said Al League, a former leader in the geospatial intelligence community, member of the Senior Executive Service for Defense Intelligence and winner of the Service to America Medal for National Security and International Affairs. "You can influence people--help senior leaders and decision-makers do the right thing."
GCC's next Intelligence & Homeland Security Summit will be held May 1 at the college's Daniel Center in Culpeper.