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Bringing Leadership Opportunities Directly to the Employees

By Kristi Britt, Norfolk Naval Shipyard Public Affairs Specialist | Sept. 11, 2019


Imagine a one-stop shop for Norfolk Naval Shipyard (NNSY) employees where all leadership development opportunities could be featured for easy access and informational awareness. A single place  where various codes, shops, and training avenues can get the word out about what’s available. Thanks to the Executive Development Program (EDP) Cadre #8 team, this has become a reality for America’s Shipyard.

Each year, a selected group of applicants is welcomed into the EDP, a competitive program where candidates get to travel across the four public shipyards and the Naval Sea Systems Command enterprise to learn from senior leadership the skills needed to be a leader. This year welcomed NNSY’s Jason Rossman, Martrail Parker, and Michael Williams to the team and since they began their journey as Cadre #8, they have been hitting the ground running on what they can do to improve not only themselves but also the shipyard as a whole.

“I’ve been at the shipyard for 17 years and I’m very proud to be part of Cadre #8. Once I found out about the EDP, I leapt at the chance to apply,” said Williams. “However, during my time here, I found it very difficult to find what opportunities were available to me to help better myself as an employee."

Rossman added, “Information for these programs was scattered in all directions and if you didn’t know exactly what you were looking for, you were at a standstill. It can get overwhelming for folks to search for these items. We wanted to see a hub created that could act as a liaison for all employees to go to and find what’s out there for them.”

Williams brought the idea to his team and they launched into what they could do to make it a reality.

“We originally came up with an EDP marketing campaign but it’s evolved into something much bigger,” said Rossman. “It’s morphed into a leadership hub that will continue to grow as we continue to build it for the employees’ needs. We are working with Command University’s (CU) Michael Glass, Webmaster from CU’s SharePoint, to build a SharePoint page that will act as the single depository of leadership development opportunities. These opportunities will include the EDP, NAVSEA rotations, tuition assistance, and more. There will be applications, links, and more available at the click of a mouse.”

“We have a workforce that is hungry for knowledge and leadership and having this one-stop shop will enable us to feed that hunger and provide them that information instantly,” said Program Manager of Advanced Leadership Programs Shelly Simpson.

The database is currently being completed and aims to launch mid-September at NNSY on Command University’s SharePoint, which can be accessed from NNSY’s WebCentral. The team is currently working with employees to test and ensure the database works best for the needs of the shipyard worker.

“It’s important we capture what interests our audience and what benefits them most. Whatever ensures the most bang for the employee’s buck is what we’re aiming to achieve,” said Parker. “With these hands-on previews, we aim to make a product that will continue to grow with the workforce in mind.”

Williams added, “We also want to continue to invite other programs out there to become part of this initiative. There’s so many opportunities out there for America’s Shipyard and we want to make sure we provide our employees the most visibility on what is available to them to help improve their skills.”

The state of the site will be continually updated and enhanced in phases per user input, continuing to build with all mentoring, coaching, and other development opportunities as they become available.