Several leaders of the Intelligence, Information and Services business recently hosted delegates to the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) annual national convention in Indianapolis, Ind. The gathering took place at IIS’ Customized Engineering and Depot Support (CEDS) headquarters in Indianapolis; the event was part of Raytheon’s continuing efforts to recruit engineering and technical talent.

Led by Raytheon vice president and IIS general manager, John Harris, the NSBE delegates—many of them engineering students— helped demonstrate some of CEDS’ latest technology offerings. Featured products included the Aviation Warrior system and the Display and Computing Family of Systems. Both systems provide enhanced situational awareness, reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities for pilots and ground troops. The participants also saw how CEDS is modernizing avionics systems with smart, multi-functional color display units that replace much of the analog or “steam gauges” in helicopter and fighter aircraft cockpits. The delegates also got the chance to network with representatives of Raytheon’s employee resource groups.

Also on the agenda was a panel discussion, followed by a question-and-answer session with several Raytheon executives. In responding to the students’ questions about finding and keeping a job, Harris reinforced the importance of perseverance. “People are hiring you for your potential, not your past,” he said. “You have to show them how you focus by learning, then leverage what you learn by applying it to what you do, and then innovate by challenging the status quo.”

In addition to the panel discussion, Harris participated in a tour of the convention hosted by NSBE leadership. A long-time NSBE advocate, he said he continued to be amazed at the energy and passion NSBE leaders have for their mission – in addition to the quality of their advanced leadership capabilities.

The theme of the convention was “Honoring Our Past: Driving our Community Forward.” Raytheon had a strong presence: company representatives participated in several speaking events, workshops and a career fair. More than 500 attendees visited Raytheon’s booth.

Raytheon’s participation was coordinated by DeWayne Allen, a lifetime NSBE member who moderated the panel discussion at the CEDS facility.

“Raytheon’s sponsorship and participation in the convention spans 30 years,” Allen said. “Our NSBE partnership supports Raytheon’s commitment to corporate responsibility, which includes both community involvement and fostering a diverse and inclusive work culture.”

Please visit NSBE’s website to learn more about the association and its mission.