Spidey-sense

There are job opportunities in Homeland Security. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I had the unfortunate luck to be in the middle of our country last Friday, just one day after the terror alert, wondering how safe it would be for me to actually board a plane and head back to life in sunny California. Always one to look for the glass half full, I took a scan of all the additional TSA staff. I’d say about 60% were over 50 years. And then, today, in a news broadcast (Money 101), host Bob McCormick and Nico Melendez (Pacific Region head of TSA) discussed how the TSA is expanding their screening program called “suspicious passenger observation” while the tech lab in NJ tests new explosive-detecting machines.

“It is 5 years after Sept 11, but it is still only 5 years after Sept 11th,” said Melendez.

And that caused some ringing in my head — because he was right. It is only 5 years and homeland security just isn’t where it needs to be, especially in the arena of trained, dedicated screeners (2000 staff alone at LAX with 50 – 100 quitting or leaving each month AND a shortfall of about 400 staff so far this year.)

Then LAWA (the LAX news site) headlined today: MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA OPENS NEW RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING CENTERAT LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. This is the first one in the nation and badly needed in LA, where the population is so dense. A local center is expected to shorten new staff training time by about six months. AND the TSA in LA is looking to fill 50 – 100 new positions every month to the end of the year just to catch up…never mind the shortfall (attrition is one of the largest problems facing TSA right now.) SO, I calculated quickly…4 months to the end of the year x 100 positions = 400 jobs at 60% (of 50 plussers) = 240 potential new jobs for those over 50 just in 2006.

The bottom line: If I lived in an area where TSA was hiring…and I needed a job…I’d head over there.

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