JFC gives young professionals a chance to be heard, network|
Posted 1/6/2011 Updated 1/6/2011
by Sarah Olaciregui
66th Air Base Group Public Affairs
1/6/2011 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- Hanscom's Junior Force Council is hard at work to improve the quality of work life for junior government employees and wants to make sure base personnel are aware of the opportunities available.
The Junior Force Council is for government employees with less than 10 years of service who are GS-12s and below. Membership is also open to company grade officers and all enlisted members.
There are six main purposes to JFC, according to Billy Robinson, Hanscom's JFC president.
"One of these purposes is to provide a feedback loop from junior members to senior leadership and back," he said. "Also, encouraging recruitment and retention, supplying professional and personal development opportunities, providing networking opportunities, providing charitable opportunities and encouraging a culture of mentoring for the junior force are the other purposes."
The council can be beneficial in other areas, as well.
"JFC is a great opportunity to learn about Hanscom, ESC [Electronic Systems Center], the Air Force, cross functional issues, activities and other important information that often someone new to the government does not have the chance to learn about," said Kanna Annamalai-Brown, JFC vice president. "It is also a great forum to express concerns and ideas that affect the entire base. Sometimes little things can get answered, such as, 'How do I get something corrected on my civilian career brief?' or the issues can be bigger and more systemic."
Throughout the year, the council holds monthly meetings. During most meetings a senior leader from the base is invited to speak on relevant topics and to network with JFC members.
The group is also working on a base-wide mentorship program with cooperation and assistance from ESC. In addition, JFC is planning to present an anti-bullying workshop with other base services and organizing a fundraising drive to help a community charity.
"JFC has given me a greater sense of belonging to the larger base community," said Ms. Annamalai-Brown. "It has afforded me the opportunity to work with a great group of people. I have met so many great people doing this and I have learned lots of things crucial to my career and personal development that I would not have learned otherwise."
The group works with other base organizations, as well.
"We have been having lunch with members of the CGOC [Company Grade Officers Council]," said Mr. Robinson. "We also work with AFCEA [Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association]."
Anyone who meets the criteria is automatically eligible to become a member of JFC. The council meets the second Wednesday of each month from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Education and Training Center and there is no cost to join or attend meetings and activities. The next meeting is Jan. 12.
For further information about the Junior Force Council, contact Mr. Robinson at 781-377-0155.