NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
As a retired United States Army Reserves lieutenant colonel, Karen Hudson is very familiar with the DLA Distribution mission. In the last years of her 30-year career she was assigned to the organization’s Expeditionary Logistics directorate, during which time she deployed for several months to Djibouti, Africa.
However, on her Dec. 13 visit to DLA Distribution headquarters in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, she was on a different mission: to show her students how DLA Distribution is an integral part of the logistics supply chain.
Hudson is a teacher at Central York High School where she teaches advanced placement U.S. Government and Politics. As part of the curriculum, she brings students to DLA Distribution so that they can get a first-hand look at the concepts they have been learning in the classroom.
Upon their arrival, they were greeted by DLA Distribution chief of staff Perry Knight. He opened their visit discussing a little about Distribution’s mission, sharing his own career background and emphasizing the importance of considering what their future might look like.
“You are the future of the nation. You may not know where you’re going in the future, but now is the right time to start thinking about it.”
The students then received information on internship and career path opportunities from Gina Brown, DLA Distribution workforce planning/development supervisor. Brown spoke of the DLA Pathways to Career Excellence (PaCE) Program, a two-year corporate training program designed to train entry-level personnel, and the student internship program, which provides Federal employment opportunities to students who are enrolled in college. She encouraged the students to start looking at usajobs.gov and preparing their resumes, and to not be modest in listing their accomplishments.
As an example, Brown advised, “You wouldn’t want to write ‘Delivered pizzas.’ You need to isolate the skill sets that you had to use to accomplish that task and list those instead. ‘Handled money,’ ‘Executed good customer service skills,’ ‘Prioritized and managed orders.’ Those are the things a potential employer is looking for.”
The students then received a command brief, highlighting the overall DLA Distribution mission as well as how DLA interacts with all four branches of the military and other federal agencies to provide support to the Warfighter and Whole of Government. During the briefing, Hudson pointed out to the students how DLA applies some of the concepts they had been learning in the classroom, and a mention of DLA Distribution’s presence in Djibouti elicited a cheer from the group in honor of their teacher’s former deployment.
Following the command brief, students travelled to DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, to see logistics in action within the Department of Defense’s largest warehouse, the Eastern Distribution Center. The tour focused on how a major distribution center operates, and students were shown first-hand how the distribution arm of logistics works from customer order to shipment.