Keeping PaCE

By Elizabeth Stoeckmann DLA Energy Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Energy launched a new Pathways to Career Excellence Mentoring Program sponsored by DLA Energy Supplier Operations for professional development in the contracting and the life cycle logistic fields. 

The mentors are previous PaCE program graduates who are performing well in their current position. To continue their leadership development, they are given an opportunity to support a new PaCE participant as they begin their journey of professional development.

Mentors and developing PaCE participants met face-to-face to learn firsthand what the program offers in an orientation meeting April 4.

“It is with great pleasure to announce that the DLA Energy PaCE Mentoring Program is designed to help PaCE participants learn about their Major Subordinate Command while developing personal and professional skills,” said Frankie Silver, DLA Energy career management specialist and project manager for the program. 

The program was implemented because most PaCE participants are new to the federal government and the acquisition community when they start their career with pathways and this opportunity helps them gain a broader perspective of the procurement process, she explained.

“A new experience like this can be intimidating and challenging for a new PaCE employee, so this endeavor creates an environment that helps them navigate the program and assist in their career journey,” Silver said.

Chelsea Dean, a PaCE participant, shared her thoughts about the mentoring program.

“When I transitioned to Energy’s PaCE Mentoring Program, I was positively surprised, along with other PaCE interns, to receive news of the new DLA Energy PaCE Mentoring Program. The program is organized with responsibility placed upon the PaCE employee. We have the choice to initiate meetings and make the most out of the 12-month program with our assigned mentor. I quickly created an agenda, detailed mentoring plan and initiated a meeting with my mentor. I hope to gain valuable business insight, guidance in the program and observe my mentor in her roles and responsibilities.

Along with my colleagues, I believe we will professionally develop from the PaCE program. We all have separate goals and motivations for the program, but each of us will graduate from it as better professionals and leaders. We get to take charge of our own destiny as we continue to serve the Warfighter, like the rest of the DLA family.

Lastly, as a PaCE intern, the advice I would give to acquisition professionals is to value the procurement learning curve, remain willing to be the student because one day you will become the teacher. Regardless of our career field, we are part of a large process and if we commit ourselves to the mission, then anything is possible. Remain mindful that we were selected to be a part of the DLA family for a reason, and this is a family that is doing a pretty good job for all of our stakeholders.”

The program is a one-year commitment of which the mentor and PaCE employee schedule monthly mentoring sessions. The mentor will assist the PaCE trainee with:

•             Sharing information about their own career path to better understand the overall acquisition career field

•             Providing guidance, motivation, emotional support and role modeling

•             Exploring career steps and set specific career goals

•             Networking and identifying resources

DLA Energy goals as an agency are to:

•             Build and retain a well-rounded cadre of employees reflective of workforce diversity

•             Ensure PaCE participants understand core skills, values and behaviors expected for success

•             Strengthen communication and collaboration across business units 

•             Foster an open environment where information is shared and knowledge is transferred

The DLA PaCE Mentoring Program is an agency-sponsored training program designed to prepare entry‚Äźlevel personnel for subsequent advancement to the journey level in the Contracting, Production Quality and Manufacturing and Life Cycle Logistics career fields.