My live notes from today’s closing session at ASTD TK12 in Las Vegas. Lisa Doyle is the Chancellor of the Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy and named Chief Learning Office of the Year by CLO Magazine for 2012.
“The more we understand our Veterans, the better we will serve them.”
VA – second largest cabinet level agency in the US. 300,000 employees. 152 medical centers and hospitals across US. Second only to the Dept of Ed in providing educational benefits. Largest cemetery system in teh US.
55% of VA workforce is eligible for retirement in the next ten years.
Opened the Acquisition Academy in 2008. Competency based programs.
Opened five schools to train. (acquisition internship school, contracting prof school, facilities management school, program management school, supply chain management school).
Critical success factors:
- holistic model
- theory to practice
- quality control (maintain and evaluate learning across the enterprise)
The Academy is a two story brick and mortal building. A learning environment and not a workplace. It’s full of color and curved surfaces. The board room has no square walls to inspire innovation and creativity and risk taking (properly managed).
16 classrooms – can train 450 people a day. With interactive whiteboards, etc.
The walls are painted with the mission: why we’re here: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan.” ~A. Lincoln
The holistic model
3 year internship program—training the next generation of professionals (second careers, those out of college)
technical skills, interpersonal skills, writing, speaking, self-understanding, leadership skills (you serve as a leader at all levels – so this begins on day 1), skill building (learning laboratory). mission service.
Scenario Driven Learning Laboratory
Preparing interns to do the work when they go out on job rotation. VAAA’s IDs use VA work to create scenario driven exercises, case studies, etc to expose learners to the actual job environment
Job rotations are critical – so they can be added bench strength – in medical centers and hospitals throughout the US.
Decreased time to competency.
Education with a purpose.
Internship program for wounded warriors. Over 100 million veterans are unemployed. The rate for post 9/11 Veterans is higher than the rest of the veteran population (particularly those ages 18-29).
Veterans are ideal candidates and make excellent employees. The attributes that Vets develop during their time in service are attributes that employers look for: leadership skills, discipline, rigor, team members, they take care of each other…
It’s a little different from standard intern program:
- infused education (it requires 24 hours of business credit – they’re in college 2 days a week onsite at the VA Academy – they partnered with a local college and the professors come to them)
- peak performance training (managing mental emotional and physiological responses to perform at peak levels – helping wounded warriors transition back from the battlefield). Also includes study skills – many of these went from high school to the battlefield.
Wounded Warrior program helps VA with succession planning. Allows them to hire experienced employees. Creates a career path for wounded warriors where they can progress in the VA.
It’s Veterans serving Veterans.