JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (Jan. 30, 2015) A Mission and Installation Contracting Command purchasing agent seeking continued career progression anticipates finding it in a transition of her career series.Dee Sosa began working in 2005 as a management assistant for the contracting office at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. When a purchasing agent departed the office, Sosa quickly recognized the opportunity and sought out and took on the duties as a purchasing agent in August 2009. She took on that role full time the following January."I thought, 'what a great career step to go from management assistant to purchasing agent and work on contracts every day.'"In preparation for the position as purchasing agent, she was already taking Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act courses "to learn more about contracting and who I was working with and for as well as better integrate myself into the contracting world."Jim Keetch, the contracting director at Dugway Proving Ground, said Sosa's tenacity, drive, commitment and competency make her an asset in the office."Dee has demonstrated a thirst for knowledge and has pursued this through various resources. She is self-driven and motivated to make the most out of herself," Keetch said. "In doing so, I believe MICC-DPG has been and will be a benefactor from her pursuit of knowledge."As a purchasing agent, she said she performs basically all of the duties as a contract specialist."I enjoy what I do and really thrive in the position. Being a purchasing agent or contract specialist is very methodical, and step by step; one step builds upon the other so that at the end of the process, you're awarding a contract," said Sosa, who supported the award of 101 contracts at Dugway last fiscal year. "I'm that kind of a detail-oriented person, and it fits right into my wheelhouse."The former Navy hospital corpsman said she is ready to take on more responsibility, have an opportunity to get more training and get promoted in her quest to become a contract specialist. She was notified over Christmas vacation of the chance to attend the four-week Army Contracting Command Boot Camp. After learning about the training opportunity, she discussed it with her husband and daughter who gave a resounding "go for it."As a purchasing agent in the 1105 career series, Sosa was selected on a space-available basis to attend the boot camp conducted by the ACC mobile training team that got underway last week at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.Donna S. VanGilder, the chief of training and readiness for the MICC at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, said the ACC Boot Camp serves as a baseline for acquisition-coded civilian employees. It introduces the workforce to the contracting process, familiarizes them with their role as contracting professionals, and prepares them to successfully attend Defense Acquisition University courses for certification. She said the boot camp covers everything from requirements generation to contract closeout through the extensive use of practical exercises and teamwork.Upon completion of the boot camp next month, the Sacramento, California, native will continue focusing on personal education goals. She's enrolled with Southern New Hampshire University and is on course to earn a Bachelor of Arts by the summer of 2016 with dual concentrations in business administration and small business management. Sosa has also completed 24 semester hours of study in law and is certified as a paralegal.
Keetch understands that such career progression necessitates careful management as both skill sets are equally important to the balance of the office, which consists of 13 staff members."Our remote and isolated location in the west desert of Utah does not make Dugway Proving Ground necessarily the hot spot for the regular job seekers," he said.However, he believes the contracting office stands to gain with her successful transition and ability to retain her at Dugway."The benefits would be many (with her) institutional knowledge of Dugway Proving Ground's mission, established relationships with key customers and working knowledge of existing procurement systems," Keetch said. "The addition of another 1102 would give MICC-DPG the ability to manage a more complex workload more effectively."Sosa anticipates such an opportunity and credits her enthusiasm for contracting to her former supervisor, Eric Vokt."He was my mentor and very influential in my job as a purchasing agent and learning about contracts," she said. "When he hired me, he said he'd teach me everything he knows."Dugway Proving Ground serves as a major range and test facility base for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives. The installation facilitates testing, evaluation and training for elite forces and first responders.
MICC-Dugway Proving Ground is responsible for providing contracting support for the warfighter. In fiscal 2014, the office executed more than 600 contract actions worth almost $59 million, including more than $37 million to small businesses. The contracting office also managed more than 5,600 Government Purchase Card Program transactions in fiscal 2014 valued at an additional more than $5 million.