Program sustains professional workforce Published Dec. 7, 2012 By Jenny Gordon Robins Public Affairs ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- By investing in the maintenance workforce, the new Professional Maintenance Certificate Program is helping develop leaders with a broad understanding of the logistics enterprise. "The program encompasses training, education and experience," explained Abe Banks, Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex Training Division chief. "It recognizes all of the things that people accomplish, and provides a roadmap they can work toward throughout their entire career." The program was developed in response to a Department of Defense Logistics Human Capital Strategy. Air Force Materiel Command, in turn, created a professional certificate program framework which requires technical, fundamental, and leadership and management competencies in maintenance support - one of four logistics workforce categories. The other three are supply management; deployment, distribution and transportation; and life cycle logistics. "What we are trying to do is develop an enterprise-wide maintenance professional," said Ken Hall, chief of the Logistics Home Office which oversees the program. "To me this is a good program for someone who wishes to advance in their career. If you seek out an opportunity and know what your goal is, then this provides a way to get there." The program, which is currently open only to General Schedule employees, the voluntary program conducted its first open session to accept applications from June to August. The next open season, in the spring of 2013, will include both General Schedule and Federal Wage System employees. Basically how the program works is as an employee completes each of the five levels of training requirements throughout his or her career, they undergo continuing and formal education, career broadening, leadership development and maintenance experience, mentoring, certification and proficiency documentation. For an entry-level employee with less than two years' experience, the road map consists of completing the training (with supervisor approval), obtaining a higher education degree and achieving the minimum amount and type experience; ultimately this will culminate into a level 5 category known as an enterprise logistician. At this stage, an applicant will have completed prior training with eight years of maintenance experience, master's degree, endorsement of the second line supervisor, and experience in two additional workforce categories aside from maintenance. "This is our view of someone who has a very broad perspective of maintenance, as well as a very deep perspective of all the intricacies involved in that," said Banks. A career roadmap provides a way to formally recognize the skills and experience of the maintenance workforce not only at Robins, but at Hill and Tinker Air Force bases as well since all three Air Logistics Complexes are implementing the program at the same time. The owning office for the program at Robins is located in the Logistics Home Office.