By Mr. Kevin Stabinsky (IMCOM)April 30, 2009
FORT MCPHERSON, Ga. -- At first glance, 867 days may seem like a lot of time, but for employees being affected by the Base Realignment and Closure of Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem, those days are going by quickly. Maximizing the effectiveness of this time period, the second of a series of BRAC Town Hall Meetings was held April 22 at the Fort McPherson Post Theater.
The purpose of the meetings, which occur every 90 days and began Jan. 8 is to provide those individuals affected by BRAC the most current information known by the garrison command staff, said Col. Deborah Grays, U.S. Army garrison commander.
"You all contribute to what we do," she said of how Civilian employees help the Army accomplish its mission. "I want to make sure you get what you need to make an informed decision (about the future)."
Future concerns, like many Americans' present concerns, focused mostly on finding jobs. To educate people on how the DoD can help, guest speaker Kim Huttner, Civilian Assistance and Reemployment Division program coordinator for the Office of Personnel Management, briefed the audience on the Priority Placement Program.
The PPP is a DoD outplacement program. The program is the most effective of its kind in the federal government, Huttner said, citing statistics that show between April 1, 2008, and March 31, 2009, the program produced 1,086 jobs, an average of 91 per month.
Huttner educated people on eligibility requirements for the program, some of the program's benefits and registration. The installation Civilian Human Resource Office (formerly CPAC) staff will be responsible for actually registering employees into the PPP program.
With the garrison commander's approval, registration can occur a year earlier than the proposed Reduction in Force effective date, said Glynn Ryan, BRAC officer. Ryan said Grays has granted early PPP registration.
Once registered in the system, CPAC personnel try to match applicants with jobs they are well qualified for, close to their current pay grade, at the same work rate (full-time or part-time) and in the area of referral applied for, Huttner said.
Although registration does not guarantee an offer of continued employment, a pamphlet produced by the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense states more than 174,000 employees have been placed through the PPP. The pamphlet and other information are located at http:// dayton.cpms.osd.mil/public/helppamphlet.pdf.
Because the focus of the Town Hall Meetings is helping those affected by BRAC, Grays asked audience members for feedback and suggestions on how to further improve future BRAC Town Hall Meetings.
Feedback, along with questions, comments and suggestions can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The next BRAC Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for July 30.
For more information on PPP, visit www.cpms.osd.mil/care/care_ppp.aspx. A slide show of Huttner's presentation at the Town Hall Meeting is available for individuals with access to the Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem Portal, located at https://fcportal.forscom.army.mil/Pages/Default. aspx, under "Announcements."