News: DCMA director talks training in St. Louis
Story by Jo Adail Stephenson
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Employees heard first hand from Defense Contract Management Agency Director Charlie E. Williams, Jr., about the agency’s “Strengthening the Acquisition Workforce – The Next 12 Months” initiative and the value and role of training during a recent All Hands here.
“At DCMA, I see our employees as an investment,” Williams said. “I want to see our investment grow. I also know with shrinking budgets and fewer resources, it is absolutely critical for us to make smart choices about how we invest in educating and training our workforce.”
He spoke about the agency’s challenges with the attrition of the retirement-eligible workforce, the onboarding of many new employees, and the geographic dispersion of the workforce.
“We must strengthen and streamline programs and opportunities so DCMA will continue to be a first-class organization trained and well-prepared for future challenges and successes,” he said. “In the challenging world of contract administration services, it has become increasingly important to foster and encourage professional growth in the workforce.”
Williams also spoke about how DCMA’s requirements of specific training, more than what is currently being provided by the Defense Acquisition University, resulted in the creation of the College of Contract Management.
“The Memorandum of Agreement with the Defense Acquisition University to stand up the College of Contract Management signed last fall served as a catalyst for our senior leadership team to set its sights on a goal of improving the agency’s efforts in areas of training and leadership development,” Williams said.
He emphasized the most important job an individual could have was the job he or she was doing currently and to learn how to do it well before going on to the next level.
Jim Titus, DCMA St. Louis deputy director, noted one of their significant challenges exactly matched the training concerns Williams had presented at the All Hands.
“In prior years, a key challenge for a streamlined command was lack of resources,” Titus said. “Now the new challenge is transitioning and training new personnel. In a six-month period, DCMA St. Louis is experiencing a 30 percent turnover of new personnel which has a big impact on first-line supervisors to in-process these personnel and to provide OJT (on-the-job training).”
During the visit, Williams met with current and recent Keystone graduates from DCMA St. Louis, St. Louis Center personnel and the Kansas City residency via teleconference for a discussion concerning each Keystone’s experience in training and OJT.
He also visited the DCMA Transportation Center. Areas addressed included organizational structure, DCMA transportation mission, regional leadership, staff functions, freight movement procedures, contractor freight management procedures, DCMA monitoring of post-shipment audits, transportation partners and training.
While in St. Louis, Williams presented the following awards:
-Exceptional Civilian Service Award to Steve Blessing for his service at the disbanded DCMA Army Modernization Program.
-Exceptional Civilian Service Award to Kyle Vanderzille for his service during deployment to Afghanistan.
-Defense Meritorious Service Medal to Navy Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Kremer, DCMA St. Louis operations officer, for his exceptional service as acting deputy commander during the deployment of the DCMA St. Louis commander from September 2009 through July 2012.