BRAC Townhall Meeting draws full house
January 16, 2009
A Jan. 9 government labor report showed the American economy lost 2.6 million jobs in 2008, marking the highest annual job loss since 1945 and causing many Americans to fear for their jobs.
Garrison employees at Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem won\'t have to worry, at least for another 972 days. By Sept. 15, 2011, all garrison employees at Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem will lose their jobs as the posts close, said Col. Deborah Grays, commander, U.S. Army Garrison, during the quarterly Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Town Hall Meeting held Jan. 8 at the Fort McPherson Post Theater.
It may not be the type of change people expected when President-elect Barack Obama spoke of change during his campaign, but his other campaign message, of hope, remains alive and well.
"We are going to close. You may disagree, but it will happen," said Grays. "All will be affected, including those in uniform."
Affected, but not without options, is a message Grays and other BRAC subject matter experts reiterated. The panel included Fran Shivers, director, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC); Glynn Ryan, BRAC chief officer; Jocelyn Coleman, chief, Army Community Services; James Williams, chief of the Managed Care Division, Lawrence Joel Army Health Clinic; and Mary Margaret Garrett, director, Atlanta Regional Workforce Board.
Ryan said the garrison will continue to operate as is until the last day, with different organizations phasing their moves throughout the remaining two years. People should not procrastinate and should begin to look at options available to them now, Shivers said.
"Since everyone is affected, you need to be proactive and seek employment. The CPAC and garrison staff will do what we can to assist you in any way that we can. Use all the services available," Shivers said.
The meeting touched on the Priority Placement Program (PPP), the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP), the reemployment priority list and retirement plans. There are variables that determine when certain options are available, Shivers added.
Employees can use the PPP, an automated mandatory placement program used to match eligible, well-qualified employees with vacant Defense Department positions, a year prior to their move. ICTAP, an employment preference program linking employees with jobs in other Federal agencies within the same commuting area, is available after an employee receives an official separation letter or separates.
No matter the time, Shivers said there are things one can do right now. Shivers said everyone should prepare or update his or her resumAfA, review applicable Web sites, attend briefings, attend job fairs and if planning to retire, obtain an estimate on their annuity at www.abc.army.mil. Families should also be considered when reviewing options.
The Army Career and Alumni Program (ACAP) staff will hold its first quarterly job fair Feb. 12 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at The Commons at Fort McPherson. Town Hall Meetings will be held quarterly to keep everyone armed with the most current information. The next one is set for April 9.
"We want to make sure you are educated as much as we are," Grays said, adding several sources of information will be available online.
For more information on BRAC, visit www.mcpherson.army.mil, www.mcpherson .army.mil/cpac, www.defenselink.mil/brac or www.hqda.army.mil/acsim/brac/braco.html. To submit questions, send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the BRAC Rumor Control Hotline at 464-0965 or the Garrison Hotline at 469-5959.