JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Feb. 13, 2020) -- A new professional development program created by the Mission and Installation Contracting Command Strategic Initiatives Group is providing leadership development opportunities across the command.The MICC Leader Development Program, or LDP, is a command portfolio of new civilian leadership development programs designed to actively train and develop MICC employees to become leaders to meet the Army's mission needs. The program allows MICC employees to serve as interns or developmental mentors at the director, deputy director and business operations level within the participants' chain of command.Workforce training and development and formal succession planning are two central goals of the MICC LDP.The workforce training and development program ensures both acquisition and non-acquisition employees are able to increase knowledge, skills and abilities in the workforce."Training plays a critical role in employee engagement and retention," said April Miller-Dietrich, the MICC Strategic Initiatives Group program manager. "It is important that our organization reflects a multifaceted approach to workforce training and development by incorporating supervisor development, technical training and leadership training."The MICC LDP is identifying key leader positions, which help support workforce succession planning, and developing formal succession plans to identify knowledge, skills and abilities a candidate requires to become competitive for positions of increased responsibility."When vacant, we will leverage these positions as developmental assignments to help close competency gaps, building the bench for the Army's future leaders," Miller-Dietrich said.The MICC LDP training portfolio will consist of seven programs to be launched in a phased approach as the program grows. The program includes interning, shadowing, mentoring, developmental assignments, self-development, cross training and an executive interview."Our efforts are in line with the Army Contracting Command Policy Memorandum 690-1, Leadership Development Program," Miller-Dietrich said. "It is critical that the MICC 'build the bench' and work toward establishing a culture of excellence in developing our leaders."Phase I consists of the intern developmental program management office, mentoring program and shadowing program. Phase II is the developmental assignments program and self-development program, which begins in March. Phase III is the cross training program and executive interview program and is slated to start in fiscal 2021.The premise of the LDP program is based on the Army Leader Development Model, which states that leader development is a deliberate, continuous, sequential and progressive process grounded in Army values. The model is comprised of three domains: institutional, operational and self-development."The foundation of the overall program is enterprise communications," Miller-Dietrich said. "It cannot be one-way. There are various feedback mechanisms built into the SharePoint portal to allow for employee input to ensure the LDP addresses known command-wide challenges. There will also be reporting requirements for each program to allow for senior leadership evaluation."The intern developmental program management office guides certification, technical and hands-on training experience for Army Acquisition Workforce interns. The training provides a broad-based background to be used throughout their career. The MICC intern/developmental "entry level" program defines the relationship between the headquarters, contracting support brigades, field directorate offices, contracting office commanders and directors, staffs, intern coordinators, supervisors, mentors, coaches and interns.The mentor leadership program facilitates the personal and professional development of employees as well as fosters the establishment of working relationships. Mentoring enhances employee knowledge and skills, the career goals of employees and the future need of the organization. It provides a forum by which senior-level leaders can facilitate the individual growth of select workforce members."The benefits of mentoring are myriad. I have used mentoring as a tool to build effective networks and management tools for myself," Cyp Laporte, the acting director for the MICC Contracting Operations Directorate said. "I have benefited from both being mentored and mentoring. To me, good mentoring can lead to greater career satisfaction and success. I believe organizations that embrace mentoring are rewarded with higher levels of employee engagement, retention and knowledge sharing." The MICC job shadowing program allows employees at the journeyman-level opportunities to observe and understand the nuances of a particular job or function. The selected employee will interact with the senior leader and observe how the senior leader performs the job, the key deliverables expected from the job, and the employees with whom the job interacts.The goal for the first year is to launch phases I and II, with all planned programs having active participation, successful completion and phase III with executive interviews and cross training ready to launch in 2021.About the MICC: Headquartered at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the Mission and Installation Contracting Command consists of about 1,500 military and civilian members who are responsible for contracting goods and services in support of Soldiers as well as readying trained contracting units for the operating force and contingency environment when called upon. MICC contracts are vital in feeding more than 200,000 Soldiers every day, providing many daily base operations support services at installations, facilitate training in the preparation of more than 100,000 conventional force members annually, training more than 500,000 students each year, and maintaining more than 14.4 million acres of land and 170,000 structures.