Published in the January/February 2012 issue of print Search & Employ®
David Anderson, lead recruiter for the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), has one crucial measurement for his days at work. “For me, a good day is giving somebody a job,” he said.
Anderson served in the United States Marine Corps for 21 years, retiring as a major in 2007. “I served all over the world, but it’s the Marines that I served with that I remember best,” said the combat veteran. “Through their dedication and teamwork I learned more from them than they did from me.”
The DCMA hired him as a recruiter. Since joining, he has built a new recruiting program, and saved time and money by implementing virtual job fairs and other hiring events. The DCMA is the DoD component that works directly with defense suppliers to help ensure that DoD, other federal, and allied government supplies and services are delivered on time and at projected cost, and that they meet all performance requirements. DCMA professionals serve as information brokers and in-plant representatives for the buying agencies during the initial stages of the acquisition cycle and throughout the lifetimes of the resulting contracts.
Before contracts are awarded, DCMA provides advice and services to help construct effective solicitations, identify potential risks, select the most capable contractors, and write contracts that meet the needs of customers. After the awards, DCMA monitors contractors’ performance and management systems to ensure that cost, product performance, and delivery schedules comply with the contracts.
On September 30, 2011, DCMA had more than 10,000 civilian workers and over 550 active duty military. There were 46 contract management offices, more than 19,700 contractors, and 342,000 active contracts. Currently, more than 3,800 veterans work at DCMA.
The DCMA has a lot of openings, according to Anderson, but primarily the organization needs contract administrators, people experienced in quality assurance, and engineers. Anderson knows that a lot of veterans have those skills and he wants to hire more of them. He said that the veteran “understands the value of what we do, because he was an end user. We service the war fighter; contracts get them the best gear. Plus, they understand teamwork, carry out orders, show initiative at the right times, and always complete the mission.”
Anderson advises servicemembers to plan for their post-military careers as early as possible and take care of such details as collecting medical records and submitting VA paperwork, if applicable before leaving the military. He also encourages servicemembers and veterans to go to as many job fairs as possible, making sure to dress properly and using a quality resume.
“I know it’s stressed over and over again, but you would be surprised at how many people don’t follow that advice,” Anderson said. “It’s silly to say something that seems so obvious, but that’s what I see over and over again.”
Anderson is a big proponent of DCMA’s Recruit A Hero program. That program supports hiring 30 percent or more disabled veterans – as determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs or any branch of the armed forces – to work as part of the civilian workforce under a federal hiring authority called “30 Percent or More Disabled Veterans” (information on special hiring authorities for veterans: www.fedshirevets.gov/hire/hm/shav/index.aspx).
With more than 120 locations nationwide, DCMA is committed to hiring disabled veterans with experience and dedication to help our fighting men and women in the field. Positions are especially plentiful in the areas of quality assurance, engineering, logistics, contracting, industrial operations, computer programming and information technology, management/programs analysis, and human resources.
“There is no greater sense of duty than taking care of your fellow servicemembers,” Anderson said.