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Auburn University and FBI partner to expand workforce at Redstone Arsenal

SOURCE: Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com
Auburn University's partnership with the FBI will see knowledge transfer in areas of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity as the agency looks to academia to futureproof its workforce.

Auburn University and the FBI have signed a memorandum of understanding which will address the demand for a larger future workforce trained in STEM and foreign languages, as the agency expands its workforce at Redstone Arsenal.

This agreement was signed as the FBI builds a 243-acre campus worth $1 billion dollars at Redstone Arsenal, which the agency hopes will attract college students in Alabama to fill potentially thousands of jobs in Huntsville.

The state-of-the-art campus in Huntsville will involve moving more than 1,000 FBI employees from Washington, D.C., and potentially add thousands of additional jobs. The FBI is looking to fill close to 4,000 jobs over the next several years.

FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich commented that the memorandum of understanding reflects the agency’s efforts in its outreach mission with academia and the partnership with the university was largely due to its stellar work in areas of artificial intelligence, 5G wireless technology and cyber security.

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Bowdich stated that as the profession is evolving, the agency requires a change in recruiting practices to accommodate these changing needs and that by working with academia, the FBI is only further strengthening its focus in defending against a new set of threats through technological and artificial intelligence advancements.

The agreement will also facilitate knowledge transfer between the agency and university to share mutually beneficial information, research and technology that will advance criminal justice, as well as student and faculty opportunities.

Executive Director of the Auburn University Huntsville Research Centre, Rodney Robertson said that the impact this partnership will have will not only benefit the state of Alabama, but also the nation, as threat intelligence for analysis leads to a better understanding of new and emerging threats targeting networks.

Robertson added that the agency’s growing presence in Huntsville enables the university to assume a leadership role to work jointly on threats targeting critical infrastructure sectors such as power and telecommunications.

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In an effort to rally students to join the agency, Bowdich said, “We have an opportunity to serve the public and to serve the country, and if the college students out there hear nothing else, I would say this: Serve your country in some form or fashion. It doesn’t have to be with us, but this is a great country we’re in.”

He added, “Serve it, at least through part of your adult life, please, because it will provide you more gratification than that big check will, I promise you. It won’t relieve tension like that big check will, but I promise you at the end of the day you will go home feeling good about what you just did or about what you are doing, and that’s something that money cannot buy.”