Homeland Security Tech Undersecretary, Others Warn of Skills Crisis
Jay Cohen, the Department of Homeland Security Department’s undersecretary for science and technology, warned during his keynote address at a recent University of Maryland global security summit that the U.S. workforce is “in crisis” because of insufficient numbers of students going into math and science fields. Mr. Cohen said students view those topics as too difficult.
Mr. Cohen also noted that “[w]e don’t have the leadership in industry to make the sustained investment in basic and applied research because of [falling] monthly and quarterly returns.”
Among other things, Mr. Cohen noted, the U.S. government may soon sign an agreement with the European Union, which has promised an investment of 1.3 billion euros in security-related projects, including the development of new technologies.
Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) and 10 other lawmakers sent a recent letter on the same issue to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.), Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), and others, asking that they reinstate a portion of U.S. competitiveness funds cut in the fiscal year 2008 omnibus appropriations bill.