ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – The U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) has recently established an "ATEC Next" Campaign Plan, with the intent to integrate, synchronize, and establish direct actions that enable ATEC to support the Army's modernization effort.
Within the plan, ATEC developed four Lines of Effort (LOEs) to include: LOE 1 - Develop, Retain and Recruit a Skilled, Innovative, and Adaptive Workforce; LOE 2 - Develop and Deploy Enhanced Test and Evaluation (T&E) Capabilities; LOE 3 - Employ Innovative and Adaptive T&E Processes; and LOE 4 - Develop Enduring Partnerships.
“As the Army modernizes, our approach to our workforce should modernize as well,” said Wes Williams, director of Human Resources (HR) Directorate (G1) at ATEC Headquarters. “Just as ATEC is on the cutting edge of technology development for the warfighter, we want to be on the cutting edge of using technology to recruit, retain, and develop our workforce.”
Williams and his G1 team are the trailblazers behind LOE 1 and the many new initiatives to ensure ATEC acquires the right talent, invests in the workforce’s professional and personal development, and retains their valued members.
“This initiative exemplifies a cultural shift requiring an Enterprise effort from every level across the Command,” said Jennifer Eyet-Kunkel, chief of Employee Policy Division at ATEC. “We all know that changing decade old processes is going to be a challenge; however, with an open mind and a willingness to try something new, I am confident that we will see the rewards of some of our efforts fairly quickly.”
LOE 1 is comprised of three components: recruitment, professional development, and retention.
Modernizing Talent Acquisition (Recruitment)
For marketing and branding purposes, the command has developed an ATEC Civilian website to highlight Civilian careers within ATEC and dispel the notion that an Army career only involves becoming a Soldier. The website is under development and anticipated to launch this spring.
“At ATEC we are determined to get the right person in the right position at the right time and committed to doing everything within our control to make the process as smooth as possible,” said Shelly Vines, senior HR specialist at ATEC. “Employees working at ATEC take great pride in knowing everything we do working as a civilian supports those Soldiers in the field.”
In addition, the G1 team is utilizing talent acquisition software such as Yello and LinkedIn Recruiter to advertise job opportunities. The command will use ‘Yello’ for resume intake and interview scheduling and ‘LinkedIn Recruiter’ to find candidates with skill sets in new and emerging technologies.
G1 offers a variety of resources to aid in professional and leadership development such as academic degree funding assistance, technical training, coaching and mentoring to help individuals reach their goals.
“We are committed to cultivating a culture of learning at ATEC where employees are eager to learn new skills, apply them to help shape the future of the organization and share that knowledge with others,” said Lori Rhoades, chief of the Acquisition Readiness and Development Branch at ATEC. “This is a win-win situation that not only encourages our employees to reach their own professional goals, but also simultaneously benefits ATEC by bringing those skills back to be used on the job.”
ATEC encourages lifelong learning and investing in the organizations greatest asset, the people. Lifelong learning is attributed to many benefits such as improved health and well-being, longer life span, increased creativity and greater self-fulfillment.
The ATEC workforce is comprised of talented and dedicated professionals with thousands of combined years of expertise in T&E. ATEC values its workforce and recognizes it is vital to support everyone’s well-being.
“Worksite wellness is an important part of organizational culture,” said ATEC’s Wellness Program Coordinator Valerie Pogue. “Allowing opportunities for the workforce to address their well-being in the workplace leads to a healthier and more productive workplace.”
Many quality of life programs, such as Enterprise Wellness Programs, Telework, Ready and Resiliency (R2) Programs and Alternate Work Schedules are provided to support work-life balance.
“Resilience is not just about ‘bouncing back’ from major life challenges,” said R2 Program Manager Diana Reeves. “Resilience is about the ability to capitalize on opportunity – to take calculated risks to show we are not afraid of failure. Only then, can we truly flourish, be the best version of ourselves, and reach our potential.”
In this rapidly modernizing world, the G1 team understands supporting the whole person (Spiritual, Emotional, Physical, Social, Psychological, and Professional) is a delicate balance and essential to drive ATEC's relevance. LOE 1 strives to strengthen human capability by placing workforce health at the forefront.
Rachel Glassman, chief of the Strategic Planning and Readiness Division at ATEC, shares “I often have to pinch myself; I love my job. ATEC is my Family and we have a shared purpose and sense of service. The mission is incredible and it is a privilege to support ATEC acquiring, developing, and retaining the talent who ensure our Soldiers have the best equipment to safely return home to their families.”
LOE 1 is all about the “people” and without people, there would be no mission.