By Ms. Elyssa Vondra (Jackson)May 24, 2019
Fort Jackson was honored for Excellence in Directorate of Human Resources in 2018, earning the annual Installation Management Command award for the first time in the medium garrison division.
The recognition identifies installations "doing more than required to support the community," including Soldiers, Family members and retirees, said Lewis Kellam, DHR director, who oversees all department-run programs.
"It's a big deal, because we work really hard to achieve that," said Ernestine Richardson, Army Substance Abuse program manager.
"I think it's the caring" that sets Fort Jackson apart, Richardson said. "(We go) out of our way each and every day" to make sure the wants and needs of the people are met, going above and beyond the minimum offering requirements.
DHR employees do it for the people, not the title, but it is still nice to be recognized, she said.
This is the post's second attempt at the DHR prize, and several program achievements helped bring home the gold this time around.
They ranged from earning high marks in processing accuracy to success in helping members of the community find jobs and get training on skills and knowledge enhancement and employment development.
The directorate created quarterly extended hours for identification card services to help people who work full-time to get their IDs without taking leave.
It hosted a career and education fair during which 55 employers offered 16 attendees jobs and 85 the opportunity to move forward with the application process.
Fort Jackson partnered with the community outside the gates to provide free Basic Skill Enhancement Program classes designed to improve troops' Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery scores. Last year, the program helped 131 of them raise their General Technical scores.
One of the biggest ongoing pushes is the healthy Fort Jackson initiative, Richardson said.
"We need our civilians as healthy as our Soldiers," she said. DHR is trying to pull in all sects of the installation, including its youth, under the umbrella of its services.
Exceptional customer service quality, information sharing and newly emerging programs also assisted in earning the installation the prize, Kellam said.
"The initiative to do what is best for the installation and the surrounding community that we service" made Fort Jackson stand out amongst its competitors, Kellam said. "(Winning) demonstrates the desire and effort that the civilian employees in the DHR put in their jobs … (it) demonstrates the excellence across the installation," since other departments and their members, such as the director of the Directorate of Public Works, won their own awards for superior performance in 2018.