Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD – The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Chemical Biological Center (DEVCOM CBC) identifies its employees as the organization’s number one priority and embraces a people-centric culture. To uphold this standard, Eugene L. Vickers, Sr. was appointed diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) officer for DEVCOM CBC.
The DEI officer is responsible for ensuring that the Center is taking action to develop and maintain a diverse workforce and promote health and wellness initiatives. DEI officers make certain their organization has a welcoming work environment for people of all genders, races, cultures, ages and abilities.
As part of his responsibilities, Vickers is leading three initiatives within the Center: workforce engagement (WE) teams, personnel recruitment and a Center-wide wellness program.
In November of 2020, DEVCOM CBC started a concept known as WE teams. This concept brought together volunteers from across the workforce to develop solutions to areas where there were opportunities for improvement based upon employee survey results. Four WE teams were formed to focus on the following areas: organizational process; senior leadership; performance, increased recognition and empowerment; and diversity, equity and inclusion.
Not only did the Center establish WE teams, but this September the DEVCOM CBC Workforce Engagement Council was formed. Led by Vickers, the Workforce Engagement Council is comprised of representatives from across the workforce who meet periodically to improve communication, workforce performance and well-being and review Center issues.
In Vickers’ DEI role, he is also responsible for recruiting students from various colleges for the Center’s summer internship opportunities. One of his recent recruits started off as a 2020 summer intern from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University and has now received a full-time offer to work for CBC.
“Recruiting students for summer internships are very important. This effort helps us bring in a new generation of talented students so we can continue to support the Center’s mission,” said Vickers
Vickers also oversees a wellness program for the Center that encompasses the fitness and mental health of all employees. The program allows employees up to two hours of administrative leave per week to participate in any type of physical or health promotion activity. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic affected personnel in many ways regarding mental health. In response to that, the Center is providing opportunities for stress classes to help employees decompress and teach them how to handle stressful situations.
The work that Vickers does for CBC highlights the programs in place to allow the workforce the opportunity to feel represented and enhance health, fitness and quality of life.
“Eugene brings a wealth of experience and trust to this new position. That's what it is about, trust of leaders and employees,” said Thomas Woloszyn, DEVCOM CBC chief operating officer. “His focus has always been on people whether mentoring, recruiting or encouraging wellness. We are fortunate to have him for this role.”
Overall, Vickers’s appointment as the new DEI officer has helped the Center by providing mental health support, wellness, diversity, inclusion and, most importantly, giving employees a voice. As he progresses in this role, Vickers looks forward to advocating for the CBC workforce.
“For years I have been asking personnel their views on what changes they would like to see within the Center and now that I’m in this position, I am going to make sure their voices are heard,” said Vickers.
For more information about the DEVCOM Chemical Biological Center, visit https://cbc.DEVCOM.army.mil
The U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Chemical Biological Center (CBC) is aligned under the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC) and U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM.)
AFC provides Army modernization solutions (integrated concepts, organizational designs, and technologies) in order to allow the Joint Force, employing Army capabilities, to achieve overmatch in the future operation environment. DEVCOM is a major subordinate command of AFC. DEVCOM leads in the discovery, development, and delivery of technology-based capabilities to enable Soldiers to win our nation’s wars and come home safely. DEVCOM CBC is the Army’s principal research and development center for chemical and biological defense technology, engineering, and field operations. DEVCOM CBC is headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.