BATTLE CREEK, Mich. –
Danielle Woods is a current member of the Pathways to Career Excellence Program Group 40, which began in 2020. Currently, she is completing her second year of the program in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Group 40 had a unique experience in the PaCE Program as they were in their first year of the program when the pandemic began. When Woods completes her program, she will be a property disposal specialist.
In your own words, how would you describe the PaCE program, and what can you gain from it?
The PaCE Program is a unique two-year program that allows the participant to obtain a corporate-wide perspective of Defense Logistics Agency Disposition Services logistics support. As a PaCE Program participant, I gained knowledge through cross-training, functional overviews, rotational assignments, formal training, assigned projects, and on-the-job training. One of the biggest advantages of the program is the opportunity to network and build lasting professional relationships. I have strengthened my leadership and presentation skills throughout this process.
Why did you first apply to the PaCE Program? After working nine years for DLA Logistics Operations in Battle Creek, Michigan, I was looking for a new challenge. I was proficient at the front end of the life cycle process and now I wanted to learn about the back end of the process. At the time, I had a friend that recently went through the program and raved about the leadership development opportunities as well as the opportunities to work in many different parts of the country.
What was your position before coming to the PaCE Program? I worked for DLA Logistics Operations in Battle Creek, Michigan, before I decided to apply for the PaCE Program. During that time, I worked in several different departments to include Air Force Cataloging, Navy Cataloging, NATO Cataloging, Research and the Joint Certification Program Branch.
What have been your favorite parts of the PaCE Program? My favorite parts of this program have been the leadership development opportunities as well as the special projects such as the video project we created to promote the PaCE Program.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the program? My favorite moment is the week I spent traveling to the West Coast with Mr. Cannon, the DLA Disposition Services director, and all the friendships I have made throughout this process.
If there was one thing that could’ve been different for you in the PaCE program, what would it be?
PaCE Group 40 was not able to go on their field site visit in year one because travel was not permitted due to the pandemic. I did not come from the field, unlike many of my classmates, so getting to experience a field site visit would have helped me understand the processes and procedures.
What would you say is the most important quality to succeed in the PaCE program? The qualities that I consider to be important for the success of the PaCE Program are flexibility and professionalism.
What is your background? I had extensive experience in DLA Logistics Operations, primarily in the Cataloging Departments, before applying for the PaCE Program. I entered federal service through a student program when I was attending Baker College for my bachelor’s degree in marketing. I went on to obtain my master’s degree in organizational leadership by utilizing DLA’s tuition assistance program. Before entering federal service, I worked for a dance competition company called, “Showstopper,” where I oversaw their sales and marketing.
Where are you currently placed? I am currently placed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. This was my 3rd choice on my list.
What are your plans for your future in the agency? I would like to become a supervisor in DLA Disposition Services as well as a tour in Europe at some point in my career.
Editorial Note: The Pathways to Career Excellence Program for DLA Disposition Services is a two-year program that takes PaCERs through all of Disposition Services and its processes to learn as much as possible about the directorate. The first year takes place at DLA Disposition Services Headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan, and the second year either takes place in Battle Creek for Contracting PaCERs or at an assigned field site for Property Disposal PaCERs. PaCERs begin as general schedule 7s, move to GS-9s at the end of their first year, and graduate the program as GS-11s. There are multiple pathways to becoming a PaCER, including being hired internally, as a recent graduate, or from military service.