'This is a campus that takes care of people'
June 6, 2013
REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. -- Despite the current fiscal environment, headquarters Army Materiel Command still has a focus on improving the quality of life for its workforce.
Health promotion, resiliency courses and a new cafeteria are just a few examples of the positive choices the command can enjoy.
The new cafeteria will provide the AMC and U.S. Army Security Assistance Command workforce with a variety of dining options to choose from, serving both breakfast and lunch. The cafeteria will be a detached facility of about 4,100 square feet with a full service kitchen. Construction is expected to be completed by November 2013.
"The plan is to provide meals from a full service grill, American & Asian bar, potato & taco bar, Italian bar, sandwich bar, and salad bar," Linwood Bowers, headquarters commandant, said.
The total seating capacity inside the cafeteria is 64. Additional seating will be provided outside the cafeteria in the spring of 2014.
"Planning is ongoing now to determine the new direction for the café, increasing opportunities like a monthly BBQ similar to the one done last month," Bowers explained. "We are also looking into the possibility of adding a one-chair barber shop, a dry cleaning drop off and pick up service, and a small convenience store area."
Before proceeding with final plans, the AMC G-1 Wellness Division is preparing a survey for the AMC and USASAC workforce to better understand their interest and needs.
"The results of this survey will likely determine which of these services, if any, will be provided," Bowers continued.
"During the furloughs and sequestration, it's still a priority of this command to take care of our people," Kevin Besser, AMC's Quality of Life Program manager, said. "At the end of the day we need to accomplish our mission, but we want to do it in a way that promotes dignity, respect, health and well-being and instills resiliency in our force and families."
"It's not just what we do inside the building for our AMC personnel, but how we help support and sustain their work-life balance," Besser said.
A few opportunities our civilian workforce has within the building in the area of health promotion include fitness centers, walking Wednesdays, 30 minute fitness classes, CPR training and the nursing mother room program.
The fitness classes are available to all fitness levels and offered Monday through Thursday with classes in kickboxing, cardio and strength, and circuit training.
"AMC was recognized last calendar year by the American Heart Association as being a Gold Level Fit-Friendly Worksite Award and Worksite Innovation Award," said Besser.
AMC is also represented in the Redstone Arsenal Civilian Welfare Fund Council.
"The council does a lot of good for the civilians and families on Redstone Arsenal, and provides funds for command organization days as well as events that are open to all members of Team Redstone, including low or no-cost recreational opportunities that support the morale and welfare of all our hard-working civilians," Besser said.
The funds come from the café and food options on post.
"A portion of the profits that are made when people buy their lunch downstairs and other places on post is reinvested in the civilian community," he added.
Besser said he and his team are well aware of the realities of furloughs and sequestion weighing on civilian workers, which is about 96 percent of the AMC staff worldwide.
"We've increased the availability of suicide prevention and resiliency training. We are working with guest speakers and partner organizations on and off-post to support our workforce and their family needs," he said.
The courses may be taken by staff section for convenience and team building.
"We are all interested in making sure that this is a campus that takes care of people," Besser concluded.