Civilian workforce development on track

| October 20, 2011 | 0 Comments
C. Todd Lopez 

Army News Service

WASHINGTON — In the last year, the Army has moved closer to transforming its civilian work force of more than 320,000 employees.

During the 2011 Association of the U.S. Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition here, Oct. 13, Under Secretary of the Army Joseph Westphal highlighted some of the progress made toward some short-term goals that he laid out a year earlier.

Included in those goals was mapping civilian employees to a career program and also developing a “scalable hiring process proof-of-concept” to reduce hiring times for civilian employees, Westphal said.

Currently, the Army Career Tracker, or ACT, is available to some 50,000 civilian employees. The online tool is designed to integrate training and education into one website and allows an employee and leadership to track careers and monitor education and training resources.

These civilians have been mapped to one of 31 career programs, and the target is to have 100 percent mapped to a career program under ACT by Sept. 30, 2012.

To speed up civilian hiring, the Army conducted a hiring reform test, aimed at reducing timelines for hiring actions.

“We invested in civilian employee professional development,” Westphal said. “We have also developed the (ACT), an online tool for tracking employee skills and training requirements. The ACT will help employees and their supervisors try and navigate a roadmap of professional success.”

Westphal said that progress in civilian workforce transformation “has not been easy,” and that transformation is still “embryotic.”

He said studies have shown the Army has to improve how it hires civilians, manages civilian careers, trains and develops leaders, and adapts the workforce to changing national requirements.

“The primary goal (of civilian workforce transformation) is to ensure that every civilian that comes into the Army has a career path,” Westphal said. “That career path can be tracked, (and) … people will be able to receive education training and development in those career paths, so they can grow in the Army and provide greater expertise in their jobs.”

Developing education for civilian employees, something similar to what is available for Soldiers, is also critical, he said.

“If you’re a Soldier today, whether you are a noncommissioned officer or an officer, the Army invests a significant amount of money in your education,” he said. “We’ve got probably the best-educated military in the world. We need to do the same thing for our civilians. Putting money into that, in a tight economy, is going to be a struggle, but I am going to make sure we do the best we can.”


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Category: Army News Service, News

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