Fort Leonard Wood’s Employee Assistance and Workforce Development programs have teamed up to build a series of Lunch and Learn sessions covering a myriad of topics aimed to help individuals grow in both their personal and professional life.
Although the program was developed by Garrison entities, the sessions are open to all Fort Leonard Wood military and civilian employees and their spouses, as well as veterans and their spouses.
“We, as a Garrison and as senior management, feel a very strong desire to make sure that all Army professionals are given the opportunity to expand their education both personally and professionally,” said Walter Mattil, deputy to the Garrison Commander. “It’s really a duty we have.”
Professional development is a requirement on every individual’s performance plan, however, Mattil acknowledges it’s not always easy to balance continuing education, one’s work schedule and home life.
“It’s very difficult because everyone is in a different position of their life and not everyone can leave here for two weeks, a month or six weeks. So that kind of became a discriminator,” Mattil said. “We still send people to schools that are not only required for certifications but also necessary for higher learning and establishing a better skillset, but this affords an opportunity where individuals don’t have to leave their family, leave the installation or go TDY. It (also) saves the government money.”
Vince Carlton, Workforce Development specialist, said the program is still a work in progress and will include some topics of interest for everyone.
“(We) have partnered with the Army Wellness Center, Army Community Service, Soldier for Life and the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence. Each have already prepared training and information briefs,” Carlton said. “We are hoping to partner with other agencies and organizations on and off post to create a very diverse list of topics and venues.”
Mattil said a program to track attendance is being established in order to make sure individuals get credit for what they do. He said attending four sessions will meet the professional development portion of the performance plan for Garrison employees.
Those not in Garrison may have their supervisor contact the Workforce Development Office at 573.563.4005 to verify attendance.
Sessions are scheduled for various days of the week at multiple locations across post. Seating is limited in some venues and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are responsible for bringing their own lunch.
“We go to work every day but don’t (always) hone our skills or seek new skill sets or continuing education,” Mattil said. “By not doing that, you may have to compete for another position and you’re at a disadvantage. Get into the mindset of trying to continually improve your knowledge and skills every day, not just that it will make you a better government employee — it will probably help with your personal life, also.”
The following sessions have been scheduled for the month of June:
— “Professional Development” from 11:30 a.m. to noon June 7 followed by “Upping your Metabolism” beginning at noon at Bldg. 470 rooms 2108 and 2109.
— “Budgeting” from 11:30 to noon June 20 in the education room of Bldg. 5137, second floor.
— “Emotional Intelligence” from 11:30 a.m. to noon June 7 followed by “Stress Management” beginning at noon at Bldg. 470, rooms 2108 and 2109.