Pacific Ocean Division to roll out a new hiring plan amid pandemic


FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii—After completing an aggressive yearlong recruitment campaign, which kicked off July 1, 2019, and included locations in Alaska, Hawaii, Korea and Japan, the Pacific Ocean Division is setting its sights on a new hiring strategy.

“We are very privileged in that last year’s campaign was mostly rolled out all online. We received over 550 résumés, which were added to a recruitment database and resulted in several hires,” said Jimmy Lam, POD’s human capital manager. “Now that COVID-19 has shifted the recruitment environment, we find our organization is already postured for online engagement. POD is looking to build upon the momentum gained and is exploring the possibility of hosting virtual engagements later this year for prospective employees.”

Recruiting remains a top priority as POD leans forward to assist federal, state and partner agencies in the fight against COVID-19. Earlier this year, the organization, along with the greater U.S. Army Corps of Engineers enterprise, was heavily focused on conducting assessments of existing structures for potential conversion into alternate care facilities. The enterprise continues to track infection trends and providing input, recommendations and support, in addition to bringing ongoing engineer-related projects to completion in support of the nation and partners.

“We’re committed to delivering results to the American people and our partners throughout the region who depend upon our expertise during COVID-19 and beyond. One of the primary ways we carry out this sacred obligation is by recruiting the top talent in their fields to join our team,” said Col. Kirk Gibbs, Pacific Ocean Division commander.

Lam said POD has found success in reaching highly qualified candidates via social media by sharing POD’s story online through a variety of multimedia content and anticipates continuing to connect through the organization’s Facebook page.

In addition to continuing recruitment efforts, POD is focused on developing and investing in their dynamic workforce. POD commanding officer Col. Kirk Gibbs said, “I am deeply passionate about building the next generation of leaders at the Pacific Ocean Division as our most valuable resource. People are our No. 1 priority, and when we focus on growing the capabilities of our workforce, the benefits of this approach is exponential: Employees are postured for maximum success, and our partners, stakeholders and community members get the best and brightest experts the field has to offer. That’s a win-win,” said Gibbs.

According to program leads, POD anticipates finalizing plans for their new recruitment initiative later this year.

The POD has a workforce of over 1,600 military, civilian and local national team members. The POD mission includes engineering design, construction and real estate management for the Army in Hawaii, Army and Air Force in Alaska, and for all Department of Defense Services and Agencies in Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. The division also administers the USCOE’ federal water resource development program and waters and wetlands regulatory programs in Alaska, Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, and the CNMI. The POD program includes the multi-year $10.7 billion Korea Transformation Program and the $15.8 billion U.S. Japan Defense Policy Review Initiative. (Ana Allen, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pacific Ocean Division) 

Ana Allen (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pacific Ocean Division) 

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