HUNTSVILLE, Ala. --More than 50 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employees gathered at the USACE Learning Center at Redstone Arsenal, Ala., Dec. 6-8 for a Talent Acquisition Workshop.
Kate Furlong-Borth, Headquarters USACE Directorate of Human Resources Field Division chief, whose team spearheaded the event, said the USACE human resources team recognized talent acquisition is being accomplished in many different occupations at many different levels across USACE, and there is a need for better collaboration across the enterprise to keep talent acquisition professionals on the same page.
“We felt the best way to synchronize efforts, begin to form a common understanding of challenges, best practices, goals and establish relationships, was to host a Talent Acquisition Workshop that invited all the players who have stakes in talent acquisition,” Furlong-Borth said.
Karen Pane, USACE Director of Human Resources, opened the workshop encouraging attendees to use every hiring resource and authority available to fill vacant USACE jobs and assist in preparing for tomorrow's engineering challenges.
She said more than any other area, USACE relies on educated cohesive teams of professionals and specific field specialists. To maintain a quality work force, she said USACE must transform the way it recruits and retains its employees.
Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, 55th Chief of Engineers and the Commanding General of USACE took time to address the group as well, emphasizing the role of talent acquisition and the importance of people in meeting the mission of USACE.
During the workshop, attendees received presentations from guest speakers Bruce Delaporte, Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation talent management director; Sgt. Maj. Claudia Whitney, Army Recruiting Command; and Larry Mack, National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Marshall Space Flight Center human resources deputy director.
Breakout sessions included topics on non-competitive and direct hiring authorities overview, hiring and recruitment incentives, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, student intern program and roundtable discussions focusing on best practices in the human resources field.
Federal agencies, including USACE, are currently challenged with an aging workforce with more than 25 percent of the workers over 55 years old and 55 percent are over 45 years old. This demographic sets the stage for a human capital crisis if a significant percentage of these governmental workers retire without a new generation of workers coming in to mitigate the resulting loss in experience and intellectual capital.
Additionally, with the workforce transformation changes that happened during the COVID-19 pandemic, Federal agencies are also challenged with recruiting during a new telework and remote work paradigm.
To meet current and future challenges in Talent Acquisition, USACE is working as an enterprise to effectively market the USACE brand and use all the tools available to attract and retain top talent.