Becoming the "Capital of the Cyber Coast"

  • June 25, 2015
  • /   Carlton Proctor
  • /   economy
Pensacola's growing reputation as the "Capital of the Cyber Coast" was solidified further this week with the hugely successful job fair hosted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The two-day event, featuring Andy Ozment, a DHS assistant secretary and hosted by Escambia Commissioner Doug Underhill, attracted an audience of more than 500 to New World Landing. The job fair resulted in the collection of more than 200 resumes from applicants with backgrounds in cyber and Web security. DHS's goal is to fill several hundred new jobs that have been created at NAS Corry Station’s rapidly expanding National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. "The roundtable exceeded all my expectations and I know Secretary Ozment shares that sentiment," said Underhill, a former Navy officer whose military specialty was cybersecurity. During the event, dubbed "Cybersecurity Career Development Roundtable,” Underhill said one of the topics focused on how to expand the appeal of the cyberindustry to minorities and women. "I know Secretary Ozment was surprised when I suggested to the audience this community take that as a personal challenge to solve that not just for Pensacola, but let's set a good example for the rest of the nation." DHS Communications Officer Herb Josey described the job fair and roundtable event as "very successful," adding, "It was great for DHS to see a turnout that exceeded 500." Increasingly, Josey said, DHS is referring to the Central Gulf Coast as the "Cyber Coast" and Pensacola is at the center of that reference. In addition to Ozment and Underhill, the roundtable included Greater Pensacola Chamber CEO and State Rep. Clay Ingram and Pensacola City Councilman Andy Terhaar. "The main takeaway I got from the roundtable was the growing need for experts in cybersecurity and that the U.S. workforce was not keeping up with that need," Ingram said. Ingram also said he has been encouraged by the State of Florida's efforts to shore up its cybersecurity at its main data centers. What's more, Ingram said, the state needs to earmark more resources over the next several years to bolster cybersecurity training at state colleges and universities. Underhill said another challenge laid down by Ozment was to create a "persistent training environment" in the Pensacola community and elsewhere to meet the needs of the cybersecurity industry, both public and private sectors. "DOD (Department of Defense) is having a hard time trying to figure out how to make that happen," Underhill said. Underhill said he tossed that out as a challenge to anyone in the audience, and Randy Ramos, founder and CEO of Global Business Solutions Inc., responded. "Randy stood up and said, 'I'll take that challenge,'" Underhill said. "I think that clearly shows that we're a community dedicated to solving big problems." SIDEBAR DHS Cybersecurity job posting for Pensacola area: DHS has full-time cybersecurity positions available at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, Pensacola Operations Center. NCCIC is a 24x7 cyber situational awareness, incident response, and management center that is a national nexus of cyber and communications integration for the federal government, intelligence community, and law enforcement. Tentative selectees must successfully complete a background investigation for TS/SCI clearance as a condition of the position. Some positions may require shift work on a 24x7x365 basis, and incumbents may be required to work weekends, nights and/or holidays on a rotational basis or as the need/workload dictates. DHS is seeking candidates skilled in: — Cyber Incident Response and Incident Handling — Cyber Risk and Strategic Analysis — Vulnerability Detection and Assessment — Networks and Systems Engineering — Digital Forensics and Forensics Analysis — Software Assurance Positions are General Schedule (GS), Information Technology Specialists (2210), ranging from GS-2210-9 up to a GS-14. HOW TO APPLY You will need a copy of your federal resume, which includes relevant experience and outlines your key work, volunteer experiences and academic accomplishments (transcripts should be included). It should also highlight the unique skills that set you apart and make you uniquely qualified for the position. Please note federal resumes are generally no less than 2 pages. Job opportunity announcements will also be posted on USAJobs and can be located at by searching for “Cybersecurity and Communications and NCCIC”. DHS is committed to hiring a highly talented, dedicated and diverse workforce. For a detailed overview and resources on ‘How to Apply’, visit CONTACT: