Around 150 command and activity career program managers from across Army Materiel Command headquarters and major subordinate commands gathered virtually Aug. 11-13 to learn about reform initiatives within the Army’s People Strategy and share best practices to keep the civilian workforce engaged.The 3-day Career Program Managers Summit, hosted by AMC’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, G-1, Max Wyche, included civilian leaders of the Army’s 32 career programs. The summit was focused on taking care of the civilian workforce, even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.“Our job is to provide the best training, best guidance and best mentorship for our careerists,” said Joe Coutcher, program manager in AMC’s G-1 Civilian Workforce and Talent Management Division. “This summit is about giving you the tools to do that.”Army Materiel Command’s 91,000 civilians make up nearly 30% of the Army’s civilian workforce. As the largest employer of Department of the Army Civilians, Army Materiel Command is spearheading a Ready Army Civilian, or RAC, initiative that creates a baseline for workforce readiness.“A Ready Army Civilian is a high-caliber employee that is resilient, educated, innovative and trained to address vastly complex situations,” said AMC Executive Deputy to the Commanding General Lisha Adams. “Ready Army Civilians will have the related job skills necessary to manage, lead and adapt, as well as soft skills that allow them to work together in teams, communicate and learn differently.”During the first three months of this fiscal year, Army Materiel Command headquarters piloted a RAC development tool to facilitate conversations between supervisors and employees and pinpoint areas for personal and professional development. After feedback and improvements, the tool will be shared across AMC’s commands soon, Adams said.The Army’s July announcement that career programs would be restructured into a single organization subordinate to Civilian Human Resources Agency was a hot topic during the summit. While details are still being worked out, the change will improve the effectiveness of career management processes, said Barbara Guy, chief of Career Programs Proponency Division with the Army G-1.“This will consolidate 32 separate offices into 11 career fields to add equity and better oversight,” she said. “The major difference is that resources will be better aligned to implement career program management.”Command and activity career program managers can expect additional details on the transition in the weeks and months to come, Guy said.In the interim, leaders challenged the career program managers to stay focused on providing resources and support to the workforce.Adams laid out seven ways to achieve this: 1) recognize and reward the workforce; 2) provide feedback in real time; 3) use learning management systems and tools; 4) encourage mentoring and coaching; 5) identify and develop soft skills; 6) implement cross-departmental training programs; and 7) provide developmental opportunities.“The desired outcome is a trained and ready workforce committed to the Army mission,” Adams said.