SAN ANTONIO -- The proponency office for the Army Installation Management career program, CP 29, hosted a working group to determine the core competencies for the social services series Mar. 19-20.

CP 29 supports Army Civilians who work in a variety of installation management-related positions at all levels, from installations to headquarters. Installation management employees work across a broad spectrum of services and capabilities. Employees in this career program come together with an aim toward providing the myriad of services, skills and capabilities required to maintain and support Department of the Army installations.

The Army Assistant G-1, Civilian Personnel, established an Army Competency Assessment Plan to add structure to federal employees' development within each of the 31 career programs. Social services (GS-0187) is one of the first groups chosen for CP 29.

"If decisions are going to be made about my job, I wanted to fully participate in any processes where my voice and personal experiences could be heard and valued, " said Nicole Nelson, program manager for Army Community Service at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa.

This workshop was the beginning of a five-phased plan to develop the technical and non-technical competencies that support this career field. At the workshop, there was representation from around the U.S. Army, including people from Installation Management Command, Medical Command, and Communication and Electronics Command.

Nelson said during the meeting it was discovered that there are several competencies that required revision and additional competencies may be added based upon the shared understanding of positions' responsibilities.

Nelson also said it is important for the Army to hear from people in the field. "I wanted to be a part of the process," said Nelson. "To ensure that Army leadership was aware of all that social service professionals proudly do in support of our military families. Participating in the competency development working group would give me a voice to articulate what my job entails both practically and technically on behalf of the soldier in the field."

Nelson received praise for her participation in this workshop and sharing the knowledge she received from it.

"Ms. Nelson's leadership, engagement and field perspective is exactly what we needed," said Karen Perkins, IMCOM director of human resources. "Nicole is a rock-star."

The second phase of the competency development initiative is to solicit the input of all personnel in GS-0187 series through a survey. To learn more about the social service competency development and how it affects you, visit (Army Knowledge Online account required).