SMDC participates in national BEYA STEM conference
Mike Krause, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command Technical Center acting director, mentors science, technology, engineering and mathematics students from across the nation at the 37th Black Engineer of the Year STEM conference, Feb. 10, in Washington DC. (U.S. Army photo by Jason B. Cutshaw) (Photo Credit: Jason Cutshaw) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON D.C. – Members of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command participated in the 37th Black Engineer of the Year Awards Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Conference, Feb. 10-11, in the nation’s capital to recruit and obtain potential candidates.

The two-day conference is a talent-rich recruitment, networking, outreach and professional development environment. During the career fair, USASMDC had a booth that provided an opportunity to recruit and connect to potential candidates and helped tell the USASMDC story of “who we are, what we do and why we matter.”

“This outreach component allows our senior leaders to have face-to-face interaction with students sharing professional advice to our future leaders,” said Priscilla W. Williams, USASMDC Equal Employment Opportunity manager. “These two facets of the conference are serving and giving, and the BEYA STEM Conference is also important because it allows an opportunity for SMDC teammates to obtain professional development, network with peers from various agencies and industries, and support Army employees who are being honored and awarded for outstanding achievements.”

Williams said it is important that the command had an opportunity to connect with U.S. Army headquarters; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Dignity for All Students Act; Army Activities and other Department of Defense agencies.

“This year SMDC is standing alongside some of Army’s larger activities, and we are holding our own,” Williams said. “There are so many opportunities within ‘Big Army,’ and we want to ensure we remain in the network as having a seat at the table.

“SMDC has two senior executive service mentors participating in the mentoring session, and several senior leaders attending the awards ceremony,” Williams said. “The event’s primary purpose is engaging people of influence directly related to military recruiting and/or military advertising.”

Williams said the BEYA STEM conference has attendees spanning from college representatives to thousands of professionals and students from across the country who represent significant accomplishments in STEM disciplines and careers.

“It is the only STEM event with an Army-wide synchronized and coordinated focus,” Williams said. “Participation in the BEYA STEM event promotes interest in the Army and SMDC while increasing awareness among middle school, high school and college students of the Army as a viable employer of choice.

“The BEYA STEM event provides unique exposure to a significant pool of diverse and young candidates for future Army talent,” she added. “The benefit of the engagements at this event for the Army is the direct enhancement of the attendee’s exposure to the opportunities and benefits of federal civilian and military employment within the Department of the Army.”

Mike Krause, USASMDC Technical Center acting director, said when there was a call for mentors, he immediately signed up.

“This is a great opportunity to engage with and share what I have learned about leadership over my career with the next generation of technical leaders,” Krause said. “The competition for STEM talent is very high across industry and DOD as a whole, especially in the Huntsville, Alabama, area. We need to use every tool in our kit bag to recruit the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

Krause said BEYA STEM offers the Army and USASMDC the opportunity to build a more diverse workforce.

“Recruiting STEM talent is very difficult and BEYA is offering a one-stop shop to enable adding diversity to our present and future formations,” Krause said. “BEYA STEM also offers another avenue to recognize our outstanding teammates.”