U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell (CA-15) today passed an amendment in the Committee on Homeland Security to direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take a broader approach in its cybersecurity workforce recruitment. Currently, DHS focuses its cyber recruitment and training strategy on students, recent graduates, and existing DHS employees, but Swalwell’s amendment urges DHS to expand its recruitment pool to include other populations including veterans and mid-career professionals.
“Protecting our cyber networks is one of the most critical elements of homeland security, and in the Bay Area we are especially vulnerable to a devastating attack,” said Swalwell. “We need the best and brightest cybersecurity minds at DHS, and right now the department’s training and recruitment falls short by recruiting from a too narrow pool. Veterans, mid-career professionals, and others should not be left out from entering this ever-important field, and if given the resources and training, would no doubt make positive contributions to our cybersecurity that would benefit all Americans.”
Swalwell’s amendment specifically encourages DHS to recruit from “experienced professionals, members of disadvantaged or underserved communities, the unemployed, and veterans.” It was added to H.R. 3107, the Homeland Security Cybersecurity Boots-on-the-Ground Act. H.R. 3107 requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish cybersecurity occupation classifications, assess the cybersecurity workforce, and develop a strategy to address identified gaps in the cybersecurity workforce.