HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – During the past three years, members of the 66th Civil Engineer Division here have been finding innovative ways to improve the quality of life for Hanscom employees.
Leaders examined data management and asset management, and wanted to create a system where money would follow the data to where it was needed most. Facilities across the base, including bathrooms and breakrooms, were in need of updates, so CE developed the Workplace Improvement Program.
“It became a balance of handling the mission and quality of life, and some things fell through the cracks,” said Jerry Sorensen, 66 CE deputy base civil engineer. “We wanted to know how we could take care of our people while still managing our workload.”
Civil engineers found a way to implement their improvements in 2018 by using rebate funds from energy savings, to reinvest into the installation, and invited base organizations to submit their projects.
“We set up criteria for the improvement initiative, and then decided what we could realistically do by design and code standards,” said Sorensen, an architect by trade. “We focused on where we could make the greatest impact and prioritized our projects from there.”
The WPI received a push in 2019, when the Air Force Materiel Command announced ‘AMFC We Need,’ a grassroots, enterprise-wide initiative that echoed the intent of the 66 CED by recommending changes to posture the command for success and improving quality of life.
Sorensen said that because the civil engineers had already been compiling the needed information by working with Hanscom contracting specialists and facility managers, they were able to quickly apply for the AFMC We Need project funds.
With the funds in hand, contract specialists were eager to help get needed projects awarded, said 2nd Lt. Gregory Orlando, Operational Contracting Infrastructure Support contracts manager.
“We were here to help the civil engineers reach their goals for improving the facilities around base,” Orlando said. “Everyone should be able to enjoy where they come to work, because that pride and ownership gets the mission done.”
In fiscal year 2019, the 66 CED completed 15 projects to upgrade the workplace, totaling $525,000. The fiscal year 2020 WPI consists of 18 additional projects totaling $756,000, five of which have been completed, and the division has already been awarded $1.05 million for additional renovations.
While the 66 CED was quick to get in line for ‘AMFC We Need’ funding, Sorensen said his team is not just chasing dollars.
“We’re going to jump at any opportunity to improve the quality of life for our community and ensure the facility works,” he said. “We are a service to the base community, and taking care of people is what motivates us to do our best.”