Army Materiel Command led civilian hiring for the Army at this year's BEYA career fair.
Army Materiel Command led civilian hiring for the Army at this year's BEYA career fair. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Graphic) VIEW ORIGINAL

In the month since Army Materiel Command participated in civilian recruiting efforts at the virtual BEYA Career Fair, students and professionals are continuing to accept entry-level job offers that open the door to government career opportunities.

To date, AMC has issued 163 tentative job offers as one of the leading government agencies at the BEYA STEM Global Competitiveness Conference and its career fair, Feb. 18-19. BEYA – equally Black Engineer of the Year Awards and Becoming Everything You Are – is an annual event providing job seekers with three days of learning, networking, celebrating excellence and showcasing career opportunities primarily in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The event provides government agencies and private industry access to a diverse pool of professionals.

“BEYA and similar events allow the Department of Defense and government organizations to recruit for a wide variety of skill sets and occupations at a single, very focused event,” said Max Wyche, AMC’s deputy chief of staff for Human Resources (G-1). “Students and professionals are there to seek employment opportunities in addition to receiving mentoring and professional development.”

AMC and its 10 major subordinate commands combined efforts in AMC’s virtual booth to recruit students and professionals primarily in the STEM fields. Joining AMC Headquarters were the: Aviation and Missile Command, Army Contracting Command, Army Sustainment Command, Communications-Electronics Command, Installation Management Command, Joint Munitions Command, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, Security Assistance Command and Financial Management Command.

Three years ago, AMC had limited hiring at BEYA. Under AMC Commander Gen. Ed Daly’s guidance, the organization has become a leader in federal employment at BEYA.

“We are continuing with job offers and letters of intent,” Daly said. “Last year, we ended up onboarding 70 to 80 new employees through BEYA. This year we’ve more than doubled that.

“We are in a fight for great talent. This is not an annual event anymore. We are taking a recruiting initiative approach, and committed every day of the year to get the best and the brightest in our workforce.”

Daly’s efforts at bringing the commanders of AMC’s major subordinate commands together to ensure success at BEYA had an impact on both the job seekers and the hiring organizations, said Paula Taylor, director of AMC’s Office of Diversity and Leadership.

“Senior leadership commitment and involvement led to the success we had this year,” Taylor said. “Gen. Daly challenged the MSC commanders and they answered the challenge. The result was a high level of interest in AMC and the gaining of a diverse group of new employees who will bring talent and capabilities to the AMC mission.”

In addition, the Army’s Civilian Personnel Advisory Center and Civilian Human Resources Agency were fully engaged to expedite hiring during BEYA, and the Army Civilian Career Management Activity provided support. They were part of a team of more than 250 personnel AMC-wide who “collaborated and successfully coordinated AMC efforts for BEYA 2022,” said Norberto Soto Fuentes, a program manager in AMC’s Office of Diversity and Leadership. “It took great leadership from all stakeholders to advance our outreach mission and to make BEYA a successful hiring event.”

Much of the pre-BEYA recruiting was managed by Communications-Electronics Command, an MSC that is historically AMC’s largest employer of BEYA recruits. Under CECOM’s leadership, AMC headquarters along with its other nine major subordinate commands implemented an expanded communications plan with college career counselors and students to increase awareness and, consequently, participation in this year’s event.

“CECOM and AMC continue to expand our presence and increase our hiring focus at BEYA,” said CECOM commanding general Maj. Gen. Robert Edmonson. “This year, we recruited for more than 280 positions and collected thousands of resumes we can use to fill future vacancies. Senior leaders also recognize this is a great opportunity to connect with upcoming talent by participating in mentorship sessions and career development activities. We've found such remarkable talent in the past and look forward to each year's event.”

Daly and AMC senior leaders are committed to not only recruiting and retaining top talent but also ensuring AMC has a diverse workforce at all levels, Wyche said.

Edmonson agreed, saying “BEYA celebrates excellence during their annual conference and provides a chance for the Army to hire from our nation’s top talent. BEYA connects skilled and innovative individuals with the careers they deserve. This is an incredible opportunity to find our newest teammates who are ready to join our community of professionals.”

As an Army senior civilian leader, Wyche had a mentoring role within the BEYA conference, spending time on a virtual platform talking to job seekers and answering their questions, all focused on career opportunities within AMC and the federal government.

“The students and professionals I talked with were very mature and focused. They were really interested in learning more about our organization, and the DOD and Army missions,” Wyche said. “The challenge of an Army organization that has a large civilian presence is to provide a greater level of understanding of what we do, where we are located and what our workforce requirements are. The mentoring session allowed us to develop that understanding among job seekers.”

Two years ago, COVID-19 presented a challenge to BEYA, causing the mentoring and hiring conference to develop virtual recruiting initiatives. Now, looking back, Wyche and other leaders agree COVID-19 provided an opportunity to expand the conference geographically to find the right talent.

“The Virtual STEM City concept really facilitated remote participation and increased diversity,” he said. “Competing for a job virtually doesn’t require students and professionals to travel to Washington, D.C., to physically attend a career fair. It also allows for year-round recruiting.”

The connections made with talented STEM professionals at BEYA continue to reap benefits for AMC and its MSCs long after the conference and career fair in terms of diversity and capability.

“CECOM and AMC are always looking to add outstanding talent to our exceptional workforce and BEYA continues to be a valuable asset in growing our Army Civilian team,” Edmonson said. “The event attracts diverse job applicants from a wide pool of educational and professional backgrounds. Workforce diversity strengthens the Army and drives readiness and mission support.”

While BEYA is an exceptional recruiting tool for AMC, Wyche said it also allows a closer look both for the hiring managers who want to ensure qualified candidates are the right fit for the organization and for job seekers who want to work for an organization where they can achieve career success and satisfaction.

“The primary outcome for participants is to find the opportunity that they believe fits their knowledge, skills and interests,” Wyche said. “They are going to spend a significant portion of their time and energy on their occupation and career. It is very important they connect with the right organization to which they can contribute to the mission, grow professionally and gain an overall sense of fulfillment.”