Training and Professional Development
The JFC also hosts regular training and professional development opportunities. For example, we regularly offer workshops on common processes and procedures here at RI, such as writing our year-end review under the “Contribution-Based Compensation System”. Additionally, we often host technical workshops and classes such as hosting an Android Boot Camp with Big Nerd Ranch.
In addition to training workshops and seminars presented to the Junior Force Council by senior leaders, our council members and Junior Force employees are always welcome to develop their own training opportunities as they see fit, such as a recent series of seminars titled “Path to Publication”. These seminars were created and presented by Junior Force employees with doctorate degrees, and discussed topics such as how to write technical papers, what the journal paper submission process entails, and how to present technical work. Our junior workforce has a vast breadth of experience when considered cumulatively, and it is in our best interest to take advantage of it.
In conjunction with the Junior Force Council, the Information Directorate provides additional professional development for some of our brand new employees. In 2012, a new branch was established as the “New Employee Training and Evaluation Branch”, under the supervision of Mr. Todd Humiston. This branch provides new employees an opportunity to work with up to three senior mentors in their first two years to ensure that the employee finds the right fit. By sampling a variety of project types, the new employees can learn about the Information Directorate while also finding a niche for their contributions. Since not all new hires are able to take advantage of this opportunity, the Junior Force Council stays in close contact with the New Employee Branch, and Mr. Humiston serves as one of the senior advisors to the council. Our other senior advisor, Ms. Linda Reed, serves as the Chief of Contracting at RI, and helps us to bridge the gap between mission and support employees.
One of the larger goals of the Junior Force Council is to arrange events aimed at increasing collaboration between employees at all levels in the Information Directorate. To support traditional scientific collaboration in-house, the JFC has hosted seminars and poster sessions to highlight the contributions of our researchers, both senior and junior.
The JFC also works to provide openings for a variety of collaborations, such as building relationships between mission and support division employees. By including all junior employees locally, we are able to meet and understand the contribution of all employees.
Finally, we work to offer networking opportunities with members of JFC organizations at other Air Force sites. Through our network of councils within the directorates of AFRL and other installations, we are able to connect junior scientists and engineers locally with others working in similar fields.
To summarize, the Information Directorate provides a fantastic opportunity for junior employees to excel through the Junior Force Council. By creating a professional organization for the Junior Force and run by the Junior Force, new employees are able to find almost any resource necessary to succeed at AFRL. The key ingredient for a successful JFC is the support of supervisors at all levels. By maintaining senior leaders as advisors to the council and meeting regularly with upper management, the council is able to deliver the training, networking, and mentoring that is crucial to a junior employee’s development.
Approved for public release; distribution unlimited: 88ABW-2015-4217