Many U.S. Army Corps of Engineers employees are eager to learn new skills and grow in their position. Fortunately, the Memphis District oftentimes offers opportunities for its employees to do just that through what's called developmental assignments and/or positions.
A developmental position is a temporary job that differs from their permanent position and is designed to train and develop employees in preparation for further career advancement. These temporary positions normally last about 120 days, but can be shorter or longer depending on the position. Additionally, the job location can either be at the employee’s home station or in a completely different state. While the differences vary from position to position, one thing remains the same, the benefits of working a developmental assignment are endless.
Recently, Memphis District Procurement Analyst TiJuana' TJ' Harris was provided the chance to apply for a 120-day developmental assignment at the division level, where she said she would learn even more about the "whys" of USACE contracting.
Outside of this developmental assignment, Harris serves as a district-level procurement analyst and has been since November of 2018.
"My responsibilities include ensuring the Memphis District's Contracting Division have the latest acquisition regulations and guidance," Harris said. "I also make sure that our contract awards and documentation comply with acquisition law and policies.”
The rules and regulations always change, so Harris stays current on regs by monitoring the several contracting channels guidance regularly comes through.
Additionally, she advises leadership on contracting policies and procedures changes, analyzes district procurement system outputs, and coordinates district reports to recommend changes in local processes.
She always does her job with a smile, flashing it daily as if it were in her job description. And many will attest to that as being 100 percent accurate, including Business Oversight Branch Chief Chris Pease.
“It’s a pleasure working with TJ,” Pease started. “She’s an absolute team player and does her best to find solutions to problems. She unselfishly takes the time to assist both the Contracting Division and the district with contracting-related systems and guidance.”
Now in her developmental position, she's working in Dallas, Texas, for the Southwestern Division, where she oversees and supports other districts as a division procurement analyst. Districts she supports are Little Rock in Arkansas, Tulsa in Oklahoma, and Galveston and Dallas in Texas.
"I interpret higher-level contracting policies and directives and guide all of the SWD District Contracting offices,” Harris said. “I also conduct comprehensive compliance reviews of contracting office files, procurement management reviews, on-the-job training, and higher-level and division taskers."
Harris says she plans on learning as much as she can while there as she’ll bring this newfound knowledge back to the Memphis District, thus making the Contracting Division stronger than it already is.
As with her previous USACE experiences, she said this opportunity will make her more ready for whatever the Lord has in store for her at USACE.
As with everything Harris does, those who know her are sure she won’t disappoint, and Pease agrees.
“I was happy when she was selected!” Pease said. “TJ is driven and seeks to learn and experience more. I feel this assignment not only helps in broadening her career with USACE, but also allows SWD to experience TJ’s talents.”
And in support of her venture, Pease said, “I know you’ll make the best of this assignment on your road to future challenges. Learn, share and have fun. I’m here for support and definitely proud of you!”
Congratulations, TJ! Good luck on this exciting new adventure and we look forward to hearing about everything you learned during your stay with the Southwestern Division in Texas.