Administrative professionals ESCAPE for training
1 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Lt. Col. Nathan Branen, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District deputy commander, thanks the district’s administrative professionals for participating in “Educational Seminar and Conference for Administrative Professional’s Enrichment” April 1, 2022, at the Tennessee National Guard Training Facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. (USACE Photo by Leon Roberts) (Photo Credit: Leon Roberts) VIEW ORIGINAL
Administrative professionals ESCAPE for training
2 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Natalya Carey, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Operation Division administrative assistant, takes notes during “Educational Seminar and Conference for Administrative Professional’s Enrichment” April 1, 2022, at the Tennessee National Guard Training Facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. (USACE Photo by Leon Roberts) (Photo Credit: Leon Roberts) VIEW ORIGINAL
Administrative professionals ESCAPE for training
3 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Rob Griffin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Real Estate Division administrative assistant, highlights training materials during the “Educational Seminar and Conference for Administrative Professional’s Enrichment” April 1, 2022, at the Tennessee National Guard Training Facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. (USACE Photo by Leon Roberts) (Photo Credit: Leon Roberts) VIEW ORIGINAL
Administrative professionals ESCAPE for training
4 / 4 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Paul Burress, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Safety Office chief, gives an eight-minute presentation about the safety mission with administrative professionals during the“Educational Seminar and Conference for Administrative Professional’s Enrichment” April 1, 2022, at the Tennessee National Guard Training Facility in Smyrna, Tennessee. (USACE Photo by Leon Roberts) (Photo Credit: Leon Roberts) VIEW ORIGINAL

SMYRNA, Tenn. (April 5, 2022) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District provided an “ESCAPE” last week for employees called upon to answer phones, complete personnel actions, update training records, manage equipment accounts, purchase supplies, coordinate travel, input time and attendance, and other administrative tasks in their work centers.

About 40 administrative professionals attended the “Educational Seminar and Conference for Administrative Professional’s Enrichment” both in person and virtually March 30 through April 1 at the Tennessee National Guard Training Facility.

The three-day event provided leaders and subject matter experts an opportunity to communicate with the district’s administrative workforce, address concerns, and provide training and information about programs that admins manage.

Lt. Col. Nathan Branen, Nashville District deputy commander, spoke during the event and noted how ESCAPE makes it possible to network and figure out how to do the job better, no matter what a person’s experience level may be.

“We can learn on our own with trial and error, but we learn better and faster when someone shows us or teaches us,” Branen said. “This is an opportunity to take time away from your normal duties to improve as professionals. I expect that is what ESCAPE did for you and the investment the district made in you is worthwhile.”

The administrative professionals participating in the ESCAPE event work at the Nashville District Headquarters and at project sites located across a seven-state area. Although some attended virtually, getting a lot of them together in one place for training also provided networking opportunities so they could meet their peers to establish connections for when questions and issues arise.

Natalya Carey, Operation Division administrative assistant, supports the Technical Support Branch’s Maintenance and Hydropower sections. She arrived just two months ago, so establishing new work relationships is especially important to her.

“Thankfully we have people and resources we can reach out to for help,” Carey said. “Helping people with travel is my big area, and the information I received here on the Joint Travel Regulation was beneficial. The JTR helps guide us.”

Carey explained that she learned a lot about how to use the various systems on her computer, which will make her to more efficient performing her administrative responsibilities related to her new position.

Administrative personnel in the Nashville District support business lines like flood risk management, navigation, hydropower, and recreation. They also provide their expertise to the command, project management, planning, regulatory, real estate, construction and engineering staffs.

Karen Halter, Resource Management Division accountant, presented information on time and attendance, travel orders and vouchers, and purchase requests. She routinely works closely with administrative assistants so they can be more proficient in assisting the workforce, but said it makes sense to present information all at once with ESCAPE because everyone benefits from accurate instruction and time is saved by responding to questions in a group setting.

“Overall our administrative staff is more knowledgeable, our employees can be compensated faster, more correctly, and my workflow is smoother,” Halter said.

Halter added that because some admins are in remote locations operating on an island, it’s good to participate in ESCAPE for face-to-face interaction and to establish a network of people to reach out to for assistance.

The subject matter experts provided instruction on personnel actions, in processing and outboarding, team building, employment verification, and Total Employee Development. They also covered responsibilities managing government vehicles and equipment accounts, and records management.

Rob Griffin, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Real Estate Division administrative support assistant, said being able to bring people together in a classroom environment after being separated with COVID-19 restrictions makes it possible to learn more effectively and connect with teammates.

“Things change rapidly throughout the year, so this is definitely valuable training,” Griffin said. “It helps me to understand the district better, see all of the points of contact face to face, and learn directly from subject matter experts.”

Kenda Holmes, commander’s secretary, helped organize the event agenda and led multiple discussions during the event. She said giving administrative professionals access to information and experts pays dividends with increased efficiencies and improved customer support.

“It’s also important to let admins know they play an important role in our organization,” Holmes said. “ESCAPE provides them a knowledge base that sets them up for success.”

(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)