For U.S. citizens who know not only a different language, but a specialized version of that language, Chris Taylor has a job for you.
As CEO and co-owner of Mission Essential Personnel, Taylor helms a global employment agency that provides workers for government and corporate clients. The company scouts out those who know obscure and specialized languages.
Mission Essential Personnel is currently the government’s leading provider of translators, interpreters and cultural advisers. It offers language translation service, intelligence support, training and technical service to the Defense Department, intelligence agencies, the civilian government and international development organizations.
The 11-year old company started off with two people and an investment of $1,400. It is now a $1 billion corporation with a workforce of 8,300 people in 16 countries. About 90 percent of the business consists of government and military contracts, and a majority of the work the company does is related to the war in Afghanistan.
Taylor, a former Marine, says some of the challenges involve not only finding people who know specialized languages such as Levantine Arabic and Palestinian Arabic, but also identifying individuals who can get through an intense security clearance.
“There might be 20 skilled speakers of a certain, but the amount of people who can be cleared through security might be five,” Taylor told BuffaloNews.com.
The CEO said while his company is committed to continue working for and supporting the military, it is also looking to explore other avenues of opportunity in commercial projects and domestic government work that is not conflict related.