By Holly DeCarlo-White
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs Office
U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart’s Army Community Service (ACS) received first place in the “Public Sector Innovation Award for the 21st Century” based upon its submission to the Human Capital Management in Government (HCMG) 10th annual awards.
The HCMG awards event brings together key stakeholders from throughout the Federal and Defense Human Resources community to discuss best practices for managing human capital, improving efficiency and advancing innovation. The HCMG awards recognize outstanding efforts in advancing and progressing human capital management in the Public Sector.
Within the application process, Tawania L. Kovacs, Stuttgart ACS division chief, addressed program organization and innovation demonstrating the level of services USAG Stuttgart ACS provides despite fiscal realities and challenges.
Funding for Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs, under which ACS falls, has been significantly reduced. However, the needs of military service and community members remain high. In October 2016, Defense news media reported that family and recreational program budgets across the Army were slated to be reduced by $105 million in fiscal year 2017.
“The solution here at USAG Stuttgart ACS, is the deploying of the ACS Generalist Model,” said Kovacs. The Generalist Model was a best practice of the Air Force’s Airmen and Family Readiness Centers in 2004-2005, she explained.
“In the Air Force model, each team member trains to become proficient in 80% of the portfolio of family programs offered … this allows constant program coverage with no disruption of service despite personnel shortages due to illness, personal leave, work-related travel and federal hiring freezes. Operating under the Generalist Model, a client is never turned away due to an absent team member.”
Stuttgart ACS launched this staffing model in family centers in 2016.
“By maximizing service delivery through the Generalist Model, not only are our clients more satisfied with the availability of all programs and services within our ACS, our staff members are more confident in their knowledge and capabilities, and their marketability for future employment is significantly increased,” Kovacs said.
ACS offers a variety of resiliency-infusing services and resources for Stuttgart military community members across all branches of service and Federal agencies. The mission of ACS is to provide programs and services that equip service members, their families and Department of Defense civilians with the knowledge and skills required to successfully negotiate the challenges of military life around the globe. Programs offerings include: Financial Readiness, Employment Readiness, Mobilization and Deployment, Relocation Readiness, Army Volunteer Corps, Army Family Action Plan, Army Family Team Building, Information, Referral and Follow-up, Family Advocacy Program, including Victim Advocacy services and the New Parent Support Program, and Survivor Outreach Services.
USAG Stuttgart ACS beat out ten other federal agencies, including runners-up, the Social Security Administration Skills Connect Team and the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness Cyber Operations Academy Course. The winners were announced at the 10th Annual HCMG awards luncheon ceremony, Nov. 30, 2016 in Alexandria, VA.