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Yvette C.
Democrat NY 9

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  • Critical Infrastructure Research and Development Advancement Act of 2014

    by Representative Yvette D. Clarke

    Posted on 2014-12-11

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    CLARKE of New York. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time.



    Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Senate amendment to H.R. 2952.

    As my ranking member, Mr. Thompson, has said, for the Department of Homeland Security to be effective in its cybersecurity mission, it must have a workforce in place to meet this challenge. A longstanding interest of mine has been how best to help DHS meet its cyber workforce needs.

    To that end, I have authored legislation that the committee unanimously approved in October to help ensure that DHS has the ``boots on the ground'' it needs to meet its diverse cybersecurity mission.

    I would like to thank Chairman Meehan for the support you have shown for my efforts and the spirit of collaboration that you have shown.

    This legislation requires DHS to develop and issue a comprehensive workforce strategy for the Department's cybersecurity missions. The Department is required to develop a 5-year implementation plan for that strategy and a 10-year projection of the cybersecurity workforce needs of the Department.

    Before developing a strategy and implementation plan, it is important that DHS conduct a workforce assessment to get a sense of the readiness and capacity of the Department's cyber workforce.

    It is also important that the Department determine where these positions are located within the Department and whether these positions are filled by permanent employees, independent contractors, detailees from other Federal agencies, or are vacant.

    The workforce assessment required under this bill requires DHS to do just that.

    Finally, I am glad that it directs DHS to develop a plan to establish a cybersecurity fellowship program under which talented undergraduates and doctoral candidates who sign on to work for the Department for an agreed-upon period would be provided tuition assistance.

    Establishment of just such a program could help encourage students to come to work for the government in this vital arena.

    I urge all of my colleagues to vote for the Senate amendment to H.R. 2952.

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