JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- (Feb. 3, 2016) Contracting officials here are creating a new one-stop virtual portal to assist Mission and Installation Contracting Command employees with career leadership development and training as part of the command's 2025 transformation.

In support of the Army chief of staff's priority for transformation, MICC officials received funding to create a virtual learning environment for developing adaptive leaders and products to assist the challenges of an ever-changing contracting environment.

The command's MICC 2025 plan is an initiative committed to shaping its multi-skilled workforce with the knowledge, skills and expertise necessary to support a rapidly deployable and sustainable Army and meet its contracting needs.

To meet the challenges of MICC 2025 plan, the directorate of contracting operations' business operations staff is developing curriculum for the command's foundational acquisition needs: office management, contracting officer leadership development and the expanded use of employees in the 1105 career series. The series is being used to assist contracting officers with simplified actions and other contracting duties. The MICC has 73 individuals in the 1105 career series and a goal to have 302 across the command.

"This academy symbolizes a significant investment in our most important asset, our workforce," said Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Gabbert, the MICC commanding general. "It is only through the efforts of our contracting professionals, that we are able to deliver customer-based, analytically driven solutions to our customers."

The MICC Academy will be the new home for standardized training and career leadership development. It will be a one-stop, virtual environment for operational contracting training guides, like processing Contracting Tactical Operations Center application reports, training materials on standardized processes for simplified acquisition actions, and future training materials developed under this program for the workforce.

Kim Wentrcek, chief of business operations with MICC CONOPS, said the team is in the process of gathering training materials, policies and inputs from the field regarding office management, the contracting workforce and career development.

"This academy is a product of input from many sources, including our collaboration with ACC-Redstone Arsenal," Wentrcek said. "We are building this for our workforce to have the tools to develop themselves professionally and have more control of their careers and office management."

During the first year of operation, academy managers plan to send teams to the field to mentor or perform train the trainer regarding the use of training materials available from the MICC Academy. The teams will train individuals in the field to pass that knowledge onto others locally.

"Sending teams to the field to train will help the academy to become self-sustaining," Wentrcek said. "Ultimately, we are creating training material on repeatable processes to develop our leaders and workforce during and beyond our current transformation."

She anticipates the academy being operational by the end of this fiscal year and constitute a sustainable program to build upon contracting benchmarks and improve contracting performance.

CONOPS is comprised of two field support divisions; one supporting the 412th Contracting Support Brigade here and MICC Field Directorate Office at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, and the second supporting the 418th CSB at Fort Hood, Texas, and 419th CSB at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The directorate also has divisions dedicated to Government Purchase Card, policy, business management, and oversight and assessment responsible for managing the workload in support of the field.

Headquartered at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the MICC is made up of more than 1,500 military and civilian members responsible for contracting for Soldiers. In fiscal 2015, the command executed more than 36,000 contract actions valued at more than $5.2 billion across the Army, including $2.25 billion to American small businesses. The command also managed more than 600,000 Government Purchase Card Program transactions in fiscal 2015 valued at an additional $747 million.

Editor's note: This is the first article in a series on the MICC's efforts to improve its business processes. New program reintroduces career series to command