Students, JMC benefit from Minority College Relations Program
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Morgan Jones, Joint Munitions Command intern and Minority College Relations Program participate, provides his project brief to the MCRP team during the outbriefs that took place at the conclusion of the ninth week of the 10-week MCRP in the Wheeler Conference Room at JMC headquarters on Aug. 1. Jones is from Monticello, Arkansas and is majoring in Industrial Technology Management and Applied Engineering at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a projected graduation date of May 2023. His career plans is to be a logistics planner. (Photo Credit: Mark Kane) VIEW ORIGINAL
Students, JMC benefit from Minority College Relations Program
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Chris Gomez, a former MCRP intern and a current Logistic Management Specialist in the Munition Logistics Distribution Division at JMC (left), works with Stoney Ross, director, JMC Equal Employment Opportunity (right), as Ross shares his knowledge and experience on the Special Emphasis Program Manager (SEPM) that Gomez is now a part of to advance diversity at JMC. (Photo Credit: Shawn Eldridge) VIEW ORIGINAL

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. – The Joint Munitions Command successfully deployed its Fiscal Year 2022 Minority College Relations Program this year with 13 college interns participating in the 10-week program. Interns were recruited from colleges and universities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico and were placed in positions at the JMC headquarters, Crane Army Ammunition Activity, Tooele Army Depot, and McAlester Army Ammunition Plant.

The MCRP is led by JMC, and is a collaboration with other Rock Island Arsenal commands to include Army Contracting Command – Rock Island, and First Army to build and cultivate relationships with minority serving institutions, historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions, and tribal colleges in order to build a strong diverse internship program to enhance the civilian workforce on RIA as well as to provide students an opportunity to work alongside Department of the Army civilians. This year the program supported a total of 22 interns. Each student is assigned a project to work during their internship that mutually benefits the government and the intern.

The interns gave an in-depth briefing to leadership on the projects they completed while at JMC and what they learned during their internships. JMC, First Army, and ACC-RI leaders were present and provided feedback to the interns. In addition to their individual project, the interns were assigned a group project by JMC's leadership titled "How to Lead and Build or Maintain Culture in a Virtual Environment." The project was successfully briefed to leadership on Aug. 1.

Michelle Ross, branch chief, ACC-RI, was impressed with the interns' briefings and accomplishments.

"Listening to all of you talk, you have different aspects that you took away from it (internship), whether it's your personal, your professional, or even your spiritual growth, that's a lot to conquer in 10 weeks," said Ross. She went on to explain that the benefits of the internship is not just one-sided, "It's a mutual benefit and there was great value not only with what you take away from this, but what you provided and leave with us, don't forget about that.

Chris Gomez, a former MCRP intern and a current Logistic Management Specialist in the Munition Logistics Distribution Division at JMC, has high praise for the MCRP program and for the opportunity that it offered him for preparing for government service.

"The program is a great experience that anyone should jump at if given the chance," said Gomez. "It allows you to create connections with not only experienced government employees, but also people from across the United States that will be your fellow interns. You can gain a wealth of knowledge from everyone."

The MCRP is about recruiting, diversity, and maximizing the success of the mission that JMC employs. According to Gomez, MCRP accomplished its mission. "Without this program I wouldn't be working at JMC right now," said Gomez.

John Campbell, deputy chief of staff for Resource Management at JMC, is the lead for the MCRP team and emphasized the value that the program brings to not only the interns, but also to the commands involved. The program offers the mutual benefit of new ideas developed by the interns and in turn the government staff sharing their knowledge, experience, and mentorship with the interns; the MCRP team emphasized the value that the program brings.

"You guys helped us do everything from plan and defend a budget to make ammunition and readiness happen; designing equipment at our installations to make sure it's safe and producing," said Campbell. "Telling the story of the people that work at these installations, executing the mission and supporting allies with direct support to Ukraine every day. It's an outstanding mission that you have done, and I hope you take a sense of purpose with that. It's one of the things as the team has talked about the value of this type of job with the federal government, with the Army, is when I go home and go to sleep, when I have a weekend, you know that you contributed something to the nation's defense, you know you contributed to freedom really around the world."