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UMass Lowell, Commonwealth and Hanscom AFB Partner on Training Program

Hanscom Workforce Benefiting from New, Innovative Program Led by UMass Lowell

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Contacts for Media: Mark Sternman, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2034 and 617-780-6186 (cell) or, Chuck Paone, Hanscom Air Force Base, 781-225-1686 or, Christine Gillette, UMass Lowell, 978-934-2209 or
LOWELL – The Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force, the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Hanscom Air Force Base today highlighted a new partnership program in network security for Hanscom Air Force Base personnel, strengthening links between the university and the Air Force base.

“This partnership highlights the outstanding educational opportunities provided by UMass Lowell while giving the highly skilled and dedicated workforce at Hanscom Air Force Base an opportunity to gain new training and skills,” said Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, who serves the 3rd Congressional District. “Chancellor Meehan, MassDevelopment and the leadership at Hanscom all deserve great credit for recognizing this opportunity and finding a way to make it a reality. It is a win for the university, a win for Hanscom and a win for our regional competitiveness.”

“This unique partnership with Hanscom is one example of how UMass Lowell develops innovative ways to meet the workforce training needs of the Commonwealth, in this case addressing the need for highly skilled network security professionals through a partnership that includes MassDevelopment and the Military Task Force,” said UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan. “We believe that it is a model that can be replicated to serve training needs in other areas of high demand.”

Created by UMass Lowell’s award-winning Division of Online and Continuing Education specifically for Hanscom personnel, the online graduate certificate program in network security has completed its first successful year after its launch in January 2014 after numerous discussions facilitated by the Military Task Force in 2012 and 2013. 

“This partnership between Hanscom and UMass Lowell brings together two best-in-class institutions,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “This workforce training program will prepare our civilians and soldiers for our increasingly high-tech world and strengthen UMass Lowell in its role as a leading economic driver of the Merrimack Valley’s innovation economy.”

The program is designed to enhance the capabilities of Hanscom’s systems administrators, network managers and other information technology professionals. At Hanscom, the 37 employees taking these courses work in the Battle Management and the Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence and Networks Directorates and the 66th Air Base Group’s Communication and Information Division. These employees will complete four of five courses to receive a graduate certificate in network security from UMass Lowell. The courses cover network infrastructures, computer network security, digital forensics, secure mobile devices and cloud computing. All of the courses can also be counted towards UMass Lowell’s master’s degree in information technology. 

“This program has provided both training supporting critical engineering competencies, use cases of relevance to the UMass Lowell community and is helping shape effective cyber and other operations into the future,” said Dr. Tim Rudolph, chief technology officer for the Air Force’s Life Cycle Management Center, key elements of which are headquartered at Hanscom. “As an example, the innovation cycle for cloud technology and cloud security is extremely short. We need to keep up with or even leap frog our familiarity with these issues. In participating in one of the classes, I have benefited and can verify the high degree of subject matter expertise of the instructor, Bob Bell, and breadth and rigor in the coursework.”

“This entire program addresses one of my strategic priorities of making our current workforce better,” said Col. Edward Masterson, deputy associate director for Engineering and Technical Management at Hanscom Air Force Base. “While we have many programs within the Air Force to prepare our people for their next career advancement, we sometimes overlook opportunities to focus on their current job activities. With strong participation and positive feedback, we clearly see this program benefiting today’s workforce.”

UMass Lowell’s online graduate certificate program in network security provides students with the expertise needed to design, operate and manage networks and to thwart ever-more sophisticated threats. Offered through the university’s Computer Science Department, the program differs from traditional graduate computer science courses in its focus on application-specific details, case studies and the operational framework required by today’s IT professionals. MassDevelopment, the Commonwealth’s quasi-governmental economic-development agency, is funding this program on behalf of the Military Task Force.

Gov. Patrick, members of Congress and other members of the Military Task Force have expressed the Commonwealth’s commitment to Hanscom Air Force Base through multiple areas that illustrate Massachusetts’ competitive business, innovation, education and workforce advantages and how those advantages benefit the Air Force. Together Hanscom and the Commonwealth have partnered on workforce training efforts, small business partnerships, energy efficiency, master planning for secure and efficient base operations, and cyber security and information technology mission enhancements.

Hanscom Air Force Base
Hanscom Air Force Base, the only active duty Air Force base in New England, is an 846-acre base located in Bedford, Lexington and Lincoln, bordering Concord.  At the base, a mix of active-duty military, civilian and contractor employees develop and acquire sophisticated radar, cyber and information technology-based systems that provide critical battlefield situational awareness to U.S. warfighters.  Hanscom is also the home to the Massachusetts Army and Air National Guard’s Joint Forces Headquarters.  The Base creates more than 3,600 direct and 14,500 indirect jobs for a total of more than 18,000 jobs, with a 2011 economic impact of $8.44 billion for the Commonwealth’s economy.

UMass Lowell
UMass Lowell is a national research university located on a high-energy campus in the heart of a global community. The university offers its more than 17,000 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, engineering, education, fine arts, health, humanities, liberal arts, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.

Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force
In 2012, Governor Patrick approved the creation of the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force, spearheading one of the nation’s most comprehensive efforts to support a state’s military installations and their host communities, advancing initiatives in workforce training, transportation, veterans’ services, energy, and housing in partnership with municipalities, industry, and academia.  The six military installations in Massachusetts include Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield; Fort Devens; Hanscom Air Force Base; Joint Base Cape Cod; Natick Soldier Systems Center; and Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee.  These installations account for a total economic impact of $14.2 billion and more than 46,500 Massachusetts jobs.