BATTLE CREEK, Mich. –
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.
Sabrina Young is a current member of the PaCE Program in group 40 – cycle began in 2020 and ends in 2022. She is currently in her second year of the program at DLA
Disposition Services Headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Why did you apply to the PaCE Program and was it your first position with DLA? I applied to the PaCE Program to learn more about what we do at DLA Disposition Services, where we do it, how we do it, the impact of it, and how I can take the knowledge gained and give back to the mission and others.
This is not my first position at DLA, I joined the agency on Oct. 2, 2017. Previously, I worked as a Disposition Process Worker (WG-5) DLA Distribution Services at Robins Air Force Base, Warner Robins, Georgia.
What was your position before coming to the PaCE Program? I was a Material Examiner and Identifier (WG-6) Forklift Operator with DLA Disposition Services at Anniston Army Depot, Anniston, Alabama.
What have been your favorite experiences with the PaCE Program? The opportunity to develop professionally, gain an understanding of the many functions of our organization, and the rotational training.
Do you have a favorite memory from your time in the program? There are so many, but to stick to the question, I relocated from Alabama and moved to an apartment on the fifth floor in Battle Creek, Michigan. Unbeknownst to me, there was no freight elevator, and my sectional couch did not fit into the passenger elevator. I placed it in storage and my options were selling it or paying the additional cost for movers to deliver it. Upon sharing my frustration with my PaCE group members, they collectively decided to help me retrieve my sectional. Our program manager and my classmates helped me move my sectional from storage up six long flights of stairs, starting from my apartment building’s basement. I like to say that was out “first” project. It only costed me a couple of pizzas and tons of laughter with new friends. The relationship that was formed that day continues to be my favorite memory.
If there was one thing that could’ve been different for you in the PaCE program, what would it be? Our class started during COVID, which presented a different set of opportunities and challenges. Our word of the year was “flexibility” and I now champion the growth and resiliency, we increased as a team.
What would you say is the most important quality to succeed in the PaCE program? The willingness to challenge yourself. To meet your fullest potential, you must assume responsibility for your growth. You are not expected to know it all so don’t be afraid to ask a question, work well with others and take on new responsibilities.
In your own words, how would you describe the PaCE program, and what can you gain from it? The PaCE Program is a two-year program designed to provide the technical and leadership knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics for you to succeed on a journey level (GS 09 to GS 11) in the designated career path.
What is your professional background experience? I am veteran; I served in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves. I started my federal civilian career in 2019 with DLA and in the private sector, I’ve worked primarily in the insurance industry, consumer lending, and settlement.
Where are you currently placed? I am currently at Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center in Battle Creek, Michigan.
What are your plans for your future in the agency? Do you hope to have a specific pathway/career field? I am currently a Property Disposal Specialist with environmental duties, and I plan to broaden my career opportunities within DLA. I would love the opportunity to deploy, engage in short term opportunities to support the war fighter, gain program management skills and develop other career skills to progress and broaden my career with the agency.