SAN ANTONIO, Texas – More than 250 civilian personnel professionals from across the Air Force gathered here for the third annual Civilian Personnel Training Summit July 22-26.
The event was hosted by the Air Force’s Personnel Center Civilian Personnel Programs division in the Personnel Programs Directorate.
“It is important for the Air Force’s Civilian Human Resources professionals to come together each year to share best practices, latest processes and discuss policy changes that impact our community so we can better support the mission,” said Sonja Crownover, AFPC deputy director for civilian programs. “Our team has received such positive feedback from attendees pleased with the tools and resources they’re taking back to their staffs.”
Civilian personnel offices at installations around the world play a critical role supporting more than 170,000 Air Force Appropriated and Non-Appropriated Fund employees.
“Conferences like these provide an opportunity for a professional, collaborative dialogue of new ideas, best practices and lessons learned, which is not only invaluable for the Air Force, but to the Department of Defense as well,” said Dr. J. Bryant Rushing, U.S. Space Command, human resources division chief.
During the conference, participants discussed topics including hiring policies and practices, employee relations, diversity in the workplace, talent acquisition and process improvement.
“We’re in the people business,” said Chris Parrett, business reform specialist on the Department of Defense Human Resources Transformation Team. “People are not numbers. We’ve got to be able to learn how to manage the human aspect in order to get back to being the strategic mission partner putting the right people in the right places at the right time to be the most effective in our missions.”
In conjunction with AFPC and Air Force Materiel Command, local civilian personnel flights provide the civilian workforce services including employee suitability for a position; position classification; requests for personnel actions; benefits, entitlements and earnings and labor and employee management relations.
During the summit, participants used an app to provide feedback and ask questions.
“This summit has been the best one so far. I appreciate AFPC capturing the initiatives and being transparent,” one attendee posted.
Other attendees were particularly impressed by the Civilian One Link tool, developed in-house by AFPC team member Dustin Erpelding. The tool reduces the need for multiple continuity binders and ensures HR professionals have the most accurate and up-to-date information at their fingertips.
Participants also heard from AFPC leadership about maintaining communication with the field.
“We’re focused on improving the way AFPC is doing business,” said Maj. Gen. Andrew Toth, AFPC commander. “Our roadshow team is meeting with employees at installations who are at the forefront of providing services to civilian and military Airmen. By hitting the road, we can engage in critical two-way dialogue between employees at the installation and the center, to see how we can better support the warfighter.”
“AFPC’s job is to support you. It’s a team effort,” Toth added.
For more information about Air Force personnel programs, visit AFPC’s public website at http://www.afpc.af.mil/.