News | June 2, 2022

DLA Energy intern participates in shadow program

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

Eager to expand her career horizons and professional skill set, contract specialist Monica Martin applied for the Defense Logistics Agency Energy Virtual Shadow Program to learn more about the diverse products and services procured within DLA Energy.

Since October 2020, Martin has been an intern with the DLA Pathways to Career Excellence Program, a two-year program designed to train entry-level personnel for advancement. Assigned to DLA Energy Utility Services, she is learning about DLA Energy’s contracting mission to support Service partners’ privatization of government-owned utilities.

“I hope to build upon the information I’ve learned as a PaCE student with the hands-on shadowing experience,” Martin said. “I’m interested in learning about the products such as coal, natural gas, and energy savings performance initiatives that will help the federal government and the Department of Defense meet future energy requirements.”

Martin, a May 2020 University of Maryland graduate, said she “stumbled” onto the DLA PaCE program during her job search. 

“I was interested in the contracting career path and had some prior utility experience from an internship with the Maryland Department of the Environment, so I decided to apply,” she said.

DLA Energy employees pose with their Department of Energy Federal Energy Management Program award
The Department Of Energy Federal Energy Management Program recognized DLA Energy contracting specialists (from left to right) Cynthia Ralph, Andrea Kincaid and Cynthia Obermeyer, for their contributions to the principles of efficient and innovative energy management during the 2017 Energy Exchange Training and Trade Show in Tampa, Florida, Aug. 16.
DLA Energy employees pose with their Department of Energy Federal Energy Management Program award
Public Affairs
The Department Of Energy Federal Energy Management Program recognized DLA Energy contracting specialists (from left to right) Cynthia Ralph, Andrea Kincaid and Cynthia Obermeyer, for their contributions to the principles of efficient and innovative energy management during the 2017 Energy Exchange Training and Trade Show in Tampa, Florida, Aug. 16.
Photo By: Irene Smith
VIRIN: 170815-D-D0441-110

Martin is the first PaCE intern to participate in the DLA Energy Virtual Shadow Program.

For five days in May, Martin was paired with contracting officer and Resiliency, Renewables and Energy Savings Performance Contracts Branch Chief Andrea Kincaid. 

A subject matter expert in renewable energy, Kincaid was recognized by the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program for her efforts in executing the contract and overseeing the construction of the Army’s largest renewable energy project to date at Fort Hood, Texas. The first DOD ‘hybrid’ (solar and wind) renewable project is expected to generate and supply more than 50% of Fort Hood’s electricity needs and serves as a model for other DOD service components that wish to pursue combined large-scale renewable projects.

During her shadow experience, Martin participated in a virtual Council on Environmental Quality Carbon Pollution Free Electricity working group meeting with members from General Services Administration, Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program, and Department of Defense Climate Office. The group discussed the coordination and review of pilot projects identified from the CFE request for information and CFE data requirements.  

“After this meeting, Monica asked questions regarding the impacts to current procurements, statutory authority limitations, coordination of requirements for aggregated procurements, and the electric markets when it comes to regulated versus deregulated potential barriers,” Kincaid said. “All of Monica’s questions were spot on given the variety of stakeholders and each having their own strategic Agency position on how the federal government should proceed with meeting environmental goals.”

Martin also participated in the Federal Utility Partnership Working Group two-day virtual training. FUPWG fosters partnerships between federal agencies and their serving utilities to leverage private sector investment in federal facility infrastructure, improve energy and water efficiency, and support federal building decarbonization.  

“This was a great opportunity to hear other agency perspectives about projects, implementation, contracting mechanisms, innovative solutions being employed by utility companies to stay connected to their customer base, and general information about the statutory and regulatory changes stemming from the current Administration,” Kincaid said. “Coming from a Utility Services background, Monica found the information from this training to be insightful and impactful to her current job duties.”

Martin said the shadow experience helped her better understand her role in contracting.

“This experience allowed me to identify the similarities and differences between Utility Services and Installation Energy and encouraged me to think critically and strategically in my work as a contract specialist,” she added.

The best part of the program was meeting and interacting with the Installation Energy team, Martin said. 

“Andrea was an excellent mentor. She explained her workload responsibilities and always made herself available to answer any questions I had,” Martin said. “This experience was a great opportunity to meet other DLA Energy employees ahead of the re-entry back to headquarters.”

Kincaid said the shadow opportunity allowed her to mentor institutional knowledge and insight with an up-and-coming Energy colleague. 

“Succession planning is a skill that I think most of us take for granted,” Kincaid said. “This experience reminded me that there is an enormous amount of talent within the organization, and we need to continue to foster the dialogue across the spectrum.”  

If you are a DLA Energy employee and would like to take part in the DLA Energy Virtual Shadowing Program, submit your request to your immediate supervisor. Learn more about the DLA Pathways to Career Excellence Program and other opportunities to join DLA’s team on the DLA’s employment programs webpage.