October 16, 2014

Montgomery County’s Cybersecurity Center Moves Forward

The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) was established in 2012 through a partnership between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, the State of Maryland and Montgomery County. It exists to help “businesses secure their data and digital infrastructure by bringing together experts from industry, government and academia to provide real-world cybersecurity solutions based on commercially available technologies.”

County Executive Ike Leggett said, “The center puts Montgomery County at the forefront of an emerging economic boom that will help the nation meet one if its most pressing challenges."

With the center being located locally, Leggett has said that Montgomery County is well-positioned to be “the nation’s leading location for civil cybersecurity solutions, business growth and job creation.”

Now, the NCCoE will be home to the first federally funded research and development center “solely dedicated to enhancing the security of the nation's information systems.”

Read the NIST news release announcing that the new center will be operated by the MITRE Corporation, a not-for-profit organization with three initial tasks totaling about $29 million.

Read more information in The Post’s weekly Capital Business publication (Oct. 13).

Montgomery College Shares in US Department of Labor Grant for Cyber Technology Career Pathways Project

The White House has announced that Montgomery College is one of 14 community colleges in Maryland that will share a nearly $15 million federal grant award from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration that will fund a cyber technology career pathways project at the college.

Montgomery College will receive $5,371,743 -- the most of any of the 14 colleges and more than one-third of the total amount of the grant, $14,957,899 – to focus on training in the cybersecurity economic sector, information technology, professional, scientific and technical, and educational services industries.

The community colleges will work in partnership with key employers and a number of hospitals to develop training pathways for low-income workers with minimal prior education or experience in information technology or cybersecurity.

Unemployment Rate Lowest in State for July, August

The fact that the County’s 5.1% unemployment rate was the lowest in Maryland for July and August is the result of successes within the local diverse business community enhanced by County economic development efforts and initiatives

Learn more about the County’s business climate and the, services and resources available to help businesses be creative and grow in the Department of Economic Development’s digital magazine.

Outstanding Achievements in Arts & Humanities to be Recognized; Free Tickets Available

The County Executive's Awards for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities are the most prestigious honors conferred by Montgomery County on individual artists, scholars, organizations and cultural patrons. The awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made a difference in Montgomery County through the arts and humanities.

The 13th annual awards ceremony will be held on Monday, October 20 at Montgomery College's Cultural Arts Center, 7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring, beginning at 7 p.m.

Eight awards will be presented this year.

The event is free but tickets are required. Register for tickets online.

New Minimum Wage in Effect for County

County Executive Ike Leggett (at podium) and supporters of the County’s new minimum wage law at the recent announcement. Also participating were (behind Leggett’s right) Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Mark Elrich. 

The County’s Minimum Wage Law that went into effect October 1 raised the local minimum wage to $8.40 per hour. Under the law, the minimum wage will increase each year until it reaches the maximum of $11.50 on October 1, 2017.

The new Minimum Wage Law will be enforced through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The contact information for inquiries on Wage and Hour Enforcement is: Employment Standards Service, 1100 North Eutaw St., Room 607, Baltimore, MD 21201; call 410-767-2357; fax 410-333-7303; email ess@dllr.state.md.us.

For more information, read the information sheet, visit the MC311 webpage or call a customer service representative at MC311. There is also a document detailing wage/tip calculations (pdf) that can be downloaded.

Enhancements Added to Alert Montgomery Emergency Notification System; Subscribers Should Update Current Accounts

The County's Alert Montgomery system has added new enhancements that will improve the speed, reliability and customization of the alerts subscribers will receive.

To obtain the new enhancements, current subscribers must re-register (update) their Alert Montgomery accounts.  Subscribers have begun receiving emails with a trusted/secure link from Everbridge, the new Alert Montgomery system provider. The link will remain open for 72 hours so subscribers can upgrade to the new system. Current subscribers who do not update their accounts will still receive some emergency alerts but will not have access to any of the new features.

New features include:
  • Selecting alerts as desired for emergencies, weather, traffic, school closings, etc. 
  • Receiving alerts via cell phone, email, text, home land line phone, work phone, or the new Mobile Member app 
  • Choosing to receive alerts for a specific address and for other locations of particular interest 
  • Specifying particular times during the day or night when you would prefer to block incoming notifications 
New notification topics include:
  • Severe weather warnings to include tornado watches/warnings 
  • Traffic disruptions - major collisions, road closures 
  • School emergency notifications - closings 
  • Shelter-in-place and evacuation information 
  • Significant water main breaks and downed power lines and outages 
  • Significant law enforcement or fire rescue incidents impacting the community 

Residents of Takoma Park, Rockville and Gaithersburg should sign up for the cities’ alerting systems through the following links. Some alerts from the County system will automatically be relayed onto the cities' systems. Existing subscribers to any of the systems will receive separate sign-up instructions:
To create a new Alert Montgomery account or learn more about the system go to http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/oemhs/AlertMontgomery/FAQ.html, call 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311, or visit alert.montgomerycountymd.gov.

Residents Encouraged to Take Advantage of Early Voting

The County Board of Elections (BOE) reminds residents that Early Voting for the General Election will occur from October 23 to October 30, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at locations around the County.
See the Early Voting locations on the BOE website at www.777vote.org.

For other election information, call 240-777-VOTE, visit www.777vote.org, BOE’s mobile friendly website at m.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections or the Maryland State Board of Elections’ website at http://elections.maryland.gov or follow the Montgomery County Board of Elections on Facebook or Twitter.