12th Maintenance Group growing from a good to great unit

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Ave I. Young
  • 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The 12th Maintenance Group at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph is growing leaders with its own civilian professional development workshop, a weeklong workshop about leading people.

Noting the lack of professional development programs for civilians, Robert West, 12th MXG director, approached Dr. Robert Hamm, 12th MXG deputy director and Brian Hall, 12th MXG maintenance operations division chief with the charge to develop this program in 2015.

“It took us about a year to put the program together,” Hamm said. “We needed to conduct a lot of research, draft the lesson plans and we needed to get qualified on each block of instruction. We went on line with the program late in 2016.”

The program is built to leverage the experiences of the participants to demonstrate application of the various components of leadership and professionalism. 

“The majority of our workforce are wage-grade employees,” Hamm said. “There are very talented and skilled technicians responsible for the care of the 12th Flying Training Wing's aircraft, support equipment and components. While their job is very important, there are very few leadership and professionalism training opportunities for this very important segment of our workforce.”

The goal is to help attendees discover who they are as leaders and identify their strengths and areas for improvement.

“When we put the course together, we took the best programs out there today, picked what we felt would serve our employees best and combined everything into a one-week workshop,” Hamm said.

Hamm and Hall went to several different leadership training schools to conduct their research, like John Maxwell, Profession of Arms Center for Excellence and the Arbinger Institute.

“We also give the students all the material we used to develop the course as a takeaway to go back, review and refresh their minds,” Hall said.

By investing in the development of future leaders, the 12th MXG is ensuring their ability to support the 12th FTW’s mission well into the future.

“While we are starting to see locally developed leadership and professionalism sessions crop up across Air Education and Training Command, we are not aware of a five-day workshop like the one we are providing,” Hamm said.

An estimated 140 employees have completed the program to date. The 12th MXG offers the workshop to 12 employees once a quarter. 

“The workshop takes time, time to prepare and time to present. It takes employees away from production,” Hamm said. “But we believe that the investment in the professional development of our workforce is worthwhile. Employees that understand how to lead, not manage, will help us provide a workplace where everyone is happier and more productive.”