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NSWC Crane Recognized Nationally for Innovative Workforce Development Program

By NSWC Crane Corporate Communications | Sept. 17, 2018

September 17, 2018

CRANE, Ind. - The Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) Crane Division University (CDU) Team was nationally recognized for its innovative approach to workforce development. The CDU Team was selected from across Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Center Divisions for the 2018 Phil Heiler Award. 

“It is an honor to be acknowledged nationally for our workforce development program,” says Barb Strahley, Director for CDU. “Our employees facilitate these CDU courses and are able to develop leadership skills alongside their peers outside of the typical work environment.”

James Hardin, the Division Manager for Human Resources, says the CDU Team provided a solution for the challenges Crane was currently facing.

“Workforce development is critical to provide the best for the warfighter and uphold national security,” says Hardin. “Previous initiatives using outside organizations were costly and enrollment was low, causing these expensive classes to be cancelled. At the same time, a significant number of the Crane workforce was retiring, causing high turnover and creating potential loss of subject matter expertise.” 

The Crane Division University program solved these problems effectively. 

“We realized the vast pool of human and intellectual capital at Crane was a resource,” says Hardin. “By using NSWC Crane’s subject matter experts, regional colleges and universities, the program has been able to specifically tailor to our workforce needs while providing more courses and reducing cost significantly.

The CDU Team’s approach to workforce education is unique in that the program taps into internal NSWC Crane subject matter experts (SME) to develop and facilitate tailored technical, business, and leadership courses.

In addition to the impact this class has had on employees, it is receiving a high-level of interest from other Navy commands and organizations across the country such as Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, NAVSEA Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, and Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) Putuxent River, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and NAVSEA SEA05.

The Crane Division University vision is to strengthen the commitment to employee development by becoming a teaching organization. This aligns with NSWC Crane’s overall strategic goal of creating a culture of innovation that values leadership and employee engagement.

“This has been a game-changing program strengthening our work culture,” says Dr. Angie Lewis, the Corporate Operations Director at NSWC Crane. “We look forward to sharing this strategic solution as a model for organizations nationwide.”

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with focus areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's warfighter.