University and DHS partner to grow nation’s homeland security workforce

Lincoln, NE (November 18, 2021) University of Nebraska System President Ted Carter announced today that NU and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have signed a new partnership agreement aimed at growing the DHS workforce in key areas related to national security and other pertinent homeland security missions.

Under the partnership, the University of Nebraska System’s four campuses and DHS will work together to expand career support, internship and job opportunities for students in fields such as cybersecurity, intelligence, emergency management and law enforcement. The goal is to create a strong pipeline of Nebraska-trained workers prepared to meet the homeland security needs of the future.

“The University of Nebraska has a long history of working with our federal partners on research and development that solves homeland security needs facing our state and nation,” Carter said. “Those needs grow more urgent and complex by the day. As Nebraska’s university system, we have an opportunity and responsibility to help prepare the next generation of leaders who will keep our nation safe.

“I’m excited about this shared commitment with the Department of Homeland Security to grow the workforce of the future, and in particular about the new opportunities this partnership will create for students at the University of Nebraska.”

Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public Engagement Eva Millona said: “The finalization of the DHS-wide Memorandum of Understanding partnership agreement with all four campuses of the University of Nebraska is a significant and impactful step toward repairing our relationship across tribal communities, public land-grant relationships with Middle America, and developing a pipeline for students to secure diverse internships, externships and federal hire positions within DHS.

“We currently collaborate with the University of Nebraska through our Counterterrorism Center of Excellence and are anxious to expound upon that existing engagement to cover intelligence, cyber, emergency management and climate change.”

The partnership builds on existing efforts like the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology and Education Center (NCITE), a shared Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency (NSA) Center of Academic Excellence that was launched at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2020 following a highly competitive selection process.

UNO Chancellor Joanne Li, Ph.D., CFA, noted that the 15 research projects currently underway in the NCITE consortium are advancing DHS’ workforce goals, helping to train future workers and provide them with the tools they need to counter and prevent terrorism and violence. NCITE’s goal, she said, is to be the federal government’s “go-to” in this area.

“Mavericks are driven to serve our community, our state and our country,” Li said. “This memorandum aligns perfectly with our institution’s core values and will strengthen our efforts to produce people of high skill and high character who meet the Department of Homeland Security’s workforce needs.”

The new agreement includes the following:

  • DHS will provide the university with information about scholarship, internship and job opportunities within the department, specifically in Nebraska, and the university in turn will share that information with students.
  • DHS will develop, and the university will disseminate, webinars for students and recent graduates that provide information on the DHS mission, job opportunities and tips on federal resume-writing and the job application process.
  • The university will alert DHS to opportunities to participate in campus engagement activities like career fairs and other outreach events to inform students, faculty, staff and alumni about work opportunities within DHS.
  • The university will invite DHS, when appropriate, to participate in public policy forums, lectures, conferences, training exercises and other relevant events taking place on the campuses, and DHS in turn will promote the activities across the department.