VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Continuing education and self-improvement classes are now more readily available for civil servants at the Vandenberg education center.
The Civilian Professional Development Program is designed to provide structure, using courses and a variety of media from the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence and leadership experts. The curriculum is designed for civilian personnel to increase their knowledge base and self-development.
“We need to take care of our civilians the same way we take care of Airmen,” said Roy Lapioli, 30th Force Support Squadron civilian training manager. “Civilians are the continuity of the Air Force, they truly are subject matter experts when it comes to the base. They have often been here for years and know the base like the back of their hand. It is important that supervisors understand that professional development is tied to the performance of civil servants, and their performance as employees. Our goal is to make better civil servants, better leaders, and better brothers and sisters in the profession of arms.”
While there are many continuing education and career development courses available for civilians, they are often hard to find, difficult to register for, and not well advertised.
“People don’t often have time to log onto the Air Force portal and look for education and career development resources,” said Steve Rogers, 30th Range Management Squadron range engineer. “They can be hard to find and overwhelming. One of our goals is to provide a list of all the resources that are available and help people get what they need. Who has the time to find out what is out there for career development? We want to be that central location for all of the resources available.”
The program is designed to grow as new needs and requests are addressed, with the current structure based off of volunteers and experts in their fields. With the ability to capitalize on volunteers’ diverse experiences and expertise, the opportunities for personal growth, whether teaching or learning, are endless.
“This program is designed to improve skills, and help with career progression,” said Jolene Cantrell, 30th FSS manpower and personnel flight chief. “It isn’t meant for credit. We have volunteer subject matter experts that will be teaching these courses. As we get more volunteers we will be able to expand our offerings. We need people to support us and tell us what they need and we would be happy to find a way to help them.”
Aside from the core leadership courses that will be offered, Lapioli, Rogers and Cantrell hope to introduce and address base-specific needs for the civilian populace.
“They gave us a starting place for the program, but ultimately it is our program,” said Rogers. “We have the core tenets from PACE, but we can develop it to address the needs of Vandenberg civilians. What is in the binder they gave us isn’t all there will be. We saw that there was a need, which is why we volunteered to bring this to our base.”
There have always been opportunities for civilian professional development here, but this program will make the offerings more robust.
“Our program is designed to help improve skills,” said Cantrell. “Where formal education drops off, that is where civilian professional development will pick up, and fill the needs of members and leaders, as well as whole units and what they may need.”
The first leadership-based courses will be offered on March 8th and 9th, if interested in signing up contact Roy Lapioli at 605-5913