HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Army Materiel Command's top human resources professional shared insights on one of the organization's strategic priorities, Soldiers and people.

Max Wyche, deputy chief of staff G-1, spoke to nearly 60 career center personnel from Alabama's four-year universities and two-year community colleges, at the Alabama Association of Colleges and Employers Career Event, July 18 at the Embassy Suites in downtown Huntsville.

To take care of people, Wyche said Army Materiel Command focuses on three priorities: cultivate the right talent, train and empower the workforce, and foster a positive and productive environment.

"We look at how we can train and empower the workforce," Wyche said. "So it's important that our partnership with universities doesn't end at recruiting your students. We invest a lot of time and resources to educate our current force and your institutions play a huge role in that."

Distinct to the Army, the Army Materiel Command workforce is nearly 95 percent civilian, which presents a different set of challenges in terms of recruiting and retention, including workforce flexibility, Wyche said.

"Work-life balance is one of the biggest challenges we have in terms of fully leveraging all of the workforce flexibilities that employees are looking for in today's workforce," Wyche said. "We have a critical challenge to find that balance."

Wyche debunked a few rumors about civilian employment within the Department of Defense with the counselors, one being that you had to be in the military to work for DOD. He said while 48 percent of civilian employees have prior military experience, the majority does not.

"A lot of people think there is a big retirement byway coming from the Department of Defense, but where we stand now, only 13.3 percent of the workforce is retirement eligible," Wyche said. "We have a good balance now in terms of three generations represented in our workforce."
With 61,000 employees across the Army Materiel Command enterprise Wyche said guaranteeing employees are receiving the training they need is essential to the mission.

"Training is huge in terms of making sure our workforce has the competencies and the skills they need to get the mission done," Wyche said. "We tell employees and managers to look at training opportunities in terms of where an employee can enhance their strengths but also address their weaknesses."