REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. --More than 50 representatives from various academic institutions throughout the Tennessee Valley attended the Army Materiel Command Academia Day on Nov. 2 at Bob Jones Auditorium here.
Hosted this year by the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Academia Day serves as a platform to market the AMC initiative to share information about federal civilian employment with the younger generation.
Counselors had the opportunity to listen to and network with a variety of speakers in hopes that they would bring the information back to their students to encourage them to look into a career with the federal government.
Maj. Gen. James Simpson, ACC commanding general, served as the keynote speaker. He explained that one of his top priorities was to "hire, train, and retain the workforce-a workforce that can keep pace with the world's ever-changing environment and challenges."
Simpson said being a civil servant is a high calling, but one that many of their future students may be able to reach.
"(Civil service) requires selfless service, high integrity, and unconditional loyalty. We want-- we need--your students who embody those characteristics," he said.
Brenda Jackson-Sewell, the director of Workforce Development/Career Program 14, followed Simpson. Shirley Perkey, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command chief of information operations, spoke from her perspective as a former intern.
Besides the speakers for the day, there were also tables and booths set up from 15 different Redstone organizations to share their information. Representatives spoke to the counselors, frequently those from the human resources department who ran the internship program.
"We are excited to be here to reach out to schools and to put our brand out there. We want to explain we are more than what they think of when they hear 'Army' -- that we are civilians and that there are so many possibilities," said Mitzi Morris, a human resources representative from Redstone Test Center. "We want to put their students to work!"
Overall, the day provided networking between federal employees and career counselors that may not normally take place in one compact day. The high school and college counselors were encouraged to share the message of potentially joining civilian service with their students after listening to the speakers.
"This was a chance to learn how to prepare my students to get ready for this potential workforce, to update their resume appropriately- it's what I was hoping for," said Natalie Morrow, a counselor from the University of North Alabama.