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Planning Associates Program: Growing as leaders, Serving with Integrity, Planning Solutions

Growing as leaders, Serving with Integrity,
Planning Solutions

The Planning Associates Class of 2013 completed a three-week session in Washington D.C., otherwise known as the “DC Experience.”  The overarching goal of the DC Experience is to introduce the class to the roles and responsibilities of USACE Headquarters.  The group met with many senior leaders and attended functions to network with other federal staff. The class learned about the Civil Works authorization and appropriations process, and was introduced to other federal entities that are involved in the life of USACE projects. Activities included the following:

Authorization and Appropriations

  • Authorization process

  • New Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill being drafted

  • Civil Works appropriations

  • A visit to “The Hill,” including attending a congressional hearing and touring the Capitol. 

Professional Development

  • Critical thinking product –the three Planning Associates teams submitted three to five topics each for consideration for their critical think product (CTP) project. Each team presented their topics to a panel. Each team received feedback from the panel and the final CTP topic was chosen for each team.
     
  • Interviewing—a discussion was presented about the art of interviewing. Each Planning Associate took part in a mock interview before a mock interview committee. Participants received feedback to help improve interviewing skills.
  • Shadowing day – each Planning Associate shadowed a senior leader for a day.
  • Team assessments – each Planning Associate took an assessment that evaluated their individual strengths and weaknesses when leading a team and participating as a team member. 

SMART Planning

  • Risk communication – the discussion included SMART Planning’s emphasis on managed risk as well as the skills and techniques needed to communicate project risk to interested stakeholders.

  • Risk Informed Decisions Making and SMART Planning – topics discussed included risk and uncertainty, SMART planning, and the risk register.

Senior Leadership

The Planning Associates class met senior leaders, including the following:

  • The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works)
  • Lieutenant General Thomas Bostick, Commanding General and Chief of Engineers
  • Major General Michael Walsh, Deputy Commanding General of Civil and Emergency Operations
  • Mr. Steven Stockton, Director, Civil Works
  • Mr. Robert Pietrowsky, Director, Institute for Water Resources
  • Mr. Theodore Brown, Chief, Planning and Policy Division
  • Mr. Wesley Coleman, Chief, Office of Water Project Review

Planning Associate Janet Cote, an Ecologist from the Norfolk District, Norfolk, Virginia, contributed to this story.

Janet Cote, an Ecologist from the Norfolk District, Norfolk, Virginia, contributed to this story.

Planning associate Janet Cote, an Ecologist from the Norfolk District, Norfolk, Virginia, contributed to this story.

Andrew Roach, a Biologist from the Baltimore District, Baltimore, Maryland, contributed to this story.