It has finally happened. As many Pennsylvania residents who are waiting for background investigations for security clearances know, the process used to fall to two agencies -- the Department of Defense and the Office of Personnel Management. When the backlog at the OPM became unwieldy, the White House decided it was time to consolidate the process into one agency, and that agency is the DOD.
Most people assume that the wheels of government turn slowly. However, the processing of security clearances has taken far longer than anyone would have anticipated in the last few years. Many Pennsylvania residents are caught up in this backlog, but there could be good news on the horizon.
When Pennsylvania residents separate from the military, they often begin searching for employment in the private sector. While military service already provides them with an edge, a security clearance could make them immeasurably more attractive as a candidate to government contractors. Someone who already has a clearance saves such companies the cost associated with the process.
With an ever growing number of states, including Pennsylvania, allowing the purchase of marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes, it may seem like now would be the time to invest in the business. Even so, marijuana continues to be illegal at the federal level. For this reason, those who have or are applying for a security clearance could find this turns out to be a bad move.
If you are like other Pennsylvania residents who have applied for jobs with the federal government, you may not be looking forward to going through every aspect of the applications process. Perhaps one of the most disconcerting aspects of the process is applying for a security clearance. No one likes exposing their past indiscretions, mistakes or bad decisions, but there are no secrets if you want the job.
When competition for certain job positions gets fierce, any advantage a Pennsylvania resident has could make the difference between getting the job and not getting it. An active security clearance could provide a significant advantage when it comes to having a leg up in the hiring process. Moreover, people with security clearances could potentially find higher paying positions as well.
Pennsylvania residents who apply for jobs with the federal government could end up working with sensitive information. In order to ensure that those applicants can be trusted with that information, the government requires them to apply for and obtain security clearances. The time, money and thoroughness required during the process depends on the type of security clearance required for the position.
Unlike decades ago, people across the country, including many here in Pennsylvania, tend not to remain in one job for 20 to 30 years anymore. Instead, they move around for many reasons such as the need for a new challenge, boredom or a change in direction in life. In any case, having a security clearance under these circumstances can get dicey since each new position may require a "new" clearance. Many people are now saying that it would just be easier for a security clearance to be attached to a person instead of a job.
When Pennsylvania residents apply for federal jobs, they may not immediately consider that who they live with matters. In fact, it could matter substantially if the jobs they apply for require security clearances. The government will want to know about the people in the lives of the applicants.
Many Pennsylvania residents who want to work for the federal government, for federal contractors or the military will not be able to do their jobs without being able to handle classified information. This means that a security clearance is vital. In order to obtain one, it will be necessary to get through the application process, which begins with filling out Form SF86 eQIP.