ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The Army Contracting Command - National Capital Region graduated 40 interns from its training program here Nov. 9.

"It's really a good feeling to see these individuals complete the program," said Harold E. Williams, ACC-NCR acting director. "It is also a significant milestone for the Army contracting community, as this graduating class includes the first intern component funded with Section 852 monies and evidence of the strong indication of the commitment by the Department of Defense to rebuild and strengthen its acquisition workforce. They are definitely going to be a big asset to contracting offices now and in the future."

Section 852 is a part of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act that "enables the Department of Defense to recruit and hire, develop and train, and recognize and retain its acquisition workforce," according to the act.

A focused effort toward developing and expanding the Army's acquisition workforce, the highly competitive program seeks the best qualified for the important task of safeguarding expenditure of American taxpayers' funds, according to Kristine E. Faria, career management analyst, ACC-NCR.

The comprehensive two-year program ensures interns receive the required Defense Acquisition University courses and extensive on-the-job training leading to Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act Level 2 certification in contracting.

Interns rotate throughout various contracting offices within the organization, receiving a variety of experience with which to develop their contracting skills.

ACC-NCR contracting center provides contracting and acquisition support for Headquarters Department of the Army staff and most Department of Defense-level Pentagon tenants, and procures common-use information technology hardware, software and services for the Army computer and cyber community.