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Army Acquisition Looks to Build Better Workforce

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U.S. Army
Friday, April 05, 2019

The Army’s acquisition czar says his many priorities include recruiting top people into the workforce and addressing salary disparities that can cause some talented people to leave.

Bruce Jette, assistant Army secretary for acquisition, logistics and technology since December 2017, told a House subcommittee that getting top minds to leave academic institutions to work for the Army may require some new solutions, such as creating partnerships that combine government and university employment. The Army also is looking at how much it should pay for partial jobs.

The Army has outreach programs with more than 240 universities that can lead to both direct hires and interns, he said. “It appears at this point our talent pool is pretty able and sound,” Jette said.

Currently, there are about 12,000 civilian scientists and engineers working to identify, develop and demonstrate technology options aimed at Army-required capabilities, he said, describing this as a critical mission. 

There is a big effort focused on talent management, he said. This includes developing senior leaders who can effectively execute programs, reshaping the workforce to meet emerging science and technology challenges, and finding new ways to recruit the right people and make certain the new people are quickly brought on board.

“Today, we find ourselves at a perilous place in history. Our focus is on great-power competition, and the Army is moving quickly to address modernization shortfalls. Time is not on our side,” he said.