Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



August/September 2012

Diversity/Careers August/September 2012

NJIT honors D/C
Veterans in technology
Defense tech pros
Medical technology
Chemical engineers
Native Americans
HENAAC STEM conference
MIT's SDM program
Grace Hopper Celebration

WBEs in technology
News & Views
WBENC at 15
Regional roundup
Supplier diversity

Diversity in action
News & Views

Bayer CNA
Tennessee SPAWAR

Diversity In Action

General Dynamics C4 Systems seeks techies with clearances

Recruiting efforts include a strong presence at colleges and diverse professional organization conferences; most interns return to work full time

If you're a Unix Systems administrator or a systems or software engineer with a top-secret government clearance, you're in demand at General Dynamics C4 Systems, says Rich Skelnik, director of talent acquisition and community investment. That's because C4 Systems creates technologies so advanced that many are classified. Its products accomplish what was thought to be impossible just a few years ago.

"The jobs that are most important for us to hire for and toughest to fill are those that require the top-secret ticket," Skelnik says. Current openings are in East Coast locations and San Antonio, TX.

General Dynamics C4 Systems develops and integrates communication and information systems and technology for defense, government and select commercial customers in the U.S. and abroad. The company specializes in command and control, communications networking, computing and information assurance.

A majority of C4 Systems' business is done with the U.S. Department of Defense and federal government agencies. For example, the company was the first to connect individual soldiers to the tactical network.

C4 Systems provides command and control solutions to help its customers accomplish their missions. During the past twenty years, the company has enabled the U.S. military and government to affordably access commercial off-the-shelf, semi-rugged and fully rugged computing platforms and accessories. It also is one of the world's largest manufacturers of satellite communications and ground station equipment.

"Job opportunities and the hiring outlook are affected by the status of the company's government contracts, so it's difficult to estimate how many people will come on board in the next year," Skelnik says. He does confirm that for the past ten years, annual hiring of entry-level college students has seen steady growth. "One thing I was chartered to do was make sure we had a successful college program. We have done that well," he notes.

C4 Systems recruits at many schools throughout the country, this year including New Mexico State University, University of Texas-El Paso, University of Pittsburgh, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University.

Summer internship openings exist in most locations. Many interns are hired full-time after graduation; Skelnik notes that the company has also brought some new grads on board without internship experience.

C4 Systems' talent acquisition team attends the national conferences of diverse professional organizations with a technical focus, including the Black Engineer of the Year Awards, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Women of Color STEM Conference, the Society of Women Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Skelnik notes that the culture is one that embraces diversity and inclusion. A statement that "diversity of thought, experience and perspective, blended together, produce a high level of creativity and innovation that deliver results," is posted on the corporate website. "Our commitment to diversity through inclusion aims at combining people and their strengths into an inclusive group of talented and engaged employees."

When entry-level employees begin, they participate in a "buddy program." Mentors guide them through the company, as well as their new geographic location and social activities. The company encourages an open-door policy. "Their best and first go-to person is their manager," Skelnik says.

Through the company's Volunteer Initiative Board, employees can help at corporate-sponsored charities and programs to promote STEM education, Skelnik reports.

The company offers a range of benefits to balance work and personal life, including flexible schedules, telecommuting, domestic partner benefits, education reimbursement, a fitness program, an employee assistance program, adoption assistance and referrals to a network of legal service providers.


General Dynamics C4 Systems


Headquarters: Scottsdale, AZ
Employees: More than 9,000 employees worldwide
Business: Secure communications, information systems and technology integration for command and control, communications, networking, space systems, computing and information assurance. Serves defense, government and select commercial customers in the U.S. and abroad

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