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COI forum visits base

By Jason M. Webb | | May 27, 2010

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Representatives from Headquarters Marine Corps visited Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in a first Communities of Interest Initiative Forum, May 19.

The forum was designed to provide a better understanding of the COI and the tools available to guide career development and advancement.

According to information provided by HQMC, the 21 different communities with the COI were created to provide occupational sponsorship, or professional identity, for all of the jobs available in the civilian-Marine workforce.  The ultimate objective of the COIs is to increase opportunities for professional development, networking and information sharing.

Each community has anywhere from one to 150 jobs within it. They vary from administrative positions to the medical and logistics fields and all of the occupations are fit into 21 community categories.

Since the initiative is being tested as a pilot program for the Marine Corps, and MCLB Albany is the test bed for the Marine Corps, representatives from HQMC hope that the positive feedback they have received so far will further propel the initiative throughout the Marine Corps.

Ray Watkins, program manager, Marine Corps Communities of Interest Program, HQMC, said this program is all about employees and employee development.

“This initiative started in 2006.  The commandant of the Marine Corps signed off on the Civilian Workforce Campaign Plan and part of that plan started the Marine Communities of Interest.

“What we were trying to do with that is, we aligned all of our occupational series and grouped them together and started communities or professional organizations,” Watkins said. “We looked at how we developed civilian leaders in the Marine Corps and how we plan for professional development of the employee.”

Marine Administrative Message 0422/09 outlines how civilian-Marines will use COI, and states that “civilian-Marines support the mission of the Marine Corps and provide an invaluable service to commanders by providing an enhanced total force team. Supervisors and managers of civilian-Marines are required to mentor and foster the career and leadership development of every civilian-Marine.”

Watkins said that this is just the beginning of spreading COI throughout the Marine Corps.

“We want to establish a bigger footprint for this program. What we want to do is bring information out,’ he said. “We have subject matter experts and we have advocates at senior Marine Corps levels.  We have competitive and noncompetitive training, workshops with subject matter experts from all over the world. We want to make the recommendation that we do this throughout the Marine Corps.”

For more information, visit Logistics Command Workforce Development Office Web site www.logcom.usmc.mil/workforceor contact Pamela Bryant or Brenda White at (229) 639-6603 or 639-5694.


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