ORLANDO, Fla.--Army Contracting Command's newest contracting center has earned a Department of Defense award for workforce innovation.

ACC-Orlando won the Workforce Development Innovation Award (Small Organization), part of the 2017 Defense Acquisition Workforce Individual Achievement and Development Innovation Awards announced Oct. 30 by Ellen M. Lord, undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

Joseph A. Giunta, Jr., ACC-Orlando executive director, said he was very proud of his team's accomplishment and praised his Workforce Support Branch and Leadership Development integrated process team for what they accomplished in such a short period of time.

"They put in place an outstanding program dedicated to workforce career development, training, education and experience," Giunta said. "The workforce investment put in place by the Workforce Development Branch and Leadership Development IPT has had a tremendous impact on further developing a fully certified workforce. It's improving the quality and professionalism of the acquisition workforce while developing acquisition leaders of the future. The combined efforts of this group to stand-up such a robust workforce development program for an organization that was just established in February 2015 are nothing short of outstanding."

ACC-Orlando became an Army Contracting Command subordinate unit in 2015 after having operated under the Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation, also in Orlando.

Kimberly A. Tedeschi, Workforce Support Branch chief, said receiving the award was "huge" for this team and the center. The team consists of Kristie T. Brandon, Jeffrey D. Claar, Servola Frazier, Capt. Markly Jean-Charles, Patricia A. Neal, Lovisa D. Parks, Rosa I. Rivera and Tedeschi.

"The key is that all of this was done in a relatively short period of time, having just achieved our initial operational capability as ACC-Orlando," Tedeschi said.

Tedeschi said the center's leadership development program and the branch's use of Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Funds were key to the team winning the award. The team established structured quarterly coaching sessions, created an ACC-Orlando Career Roadmap and Leadership Guide, organized Notable Thinkers guest speaker engagements, developed a Leadership Reference Library available to all ACC-Orlando employees, and established the Executive Director's Shadow Program to expose branch chiefs to leadership and decision making at the strategic level.

"One hundred percent of ACC-Orlando employees have benefitted from these initiatives," she said.

ACC-Orlando obtained $524,000 through the DAWDF--a 773 percent increase over previous funding requests--that "greatly increased ACC-Orlando's ability to provide high-quality, targeted leadership and technical training to the workforce," according to Tedeschi.

"From a strictly financial standpoint, we provided this training at no cost to ACC-Orlando," she said. "By effectively leveraging the DAWDF, all costs associated with bringing classes on site to Orlando or sending our employees on temporary duty elsewhere were covered."

The award ceremony is scheduled for Dec. 6 at the Pentagon.