DAHLGREN, Va. –
They say that if you do something you are passionate about, you will never work a day in your life. The perfect embodiment of this adage is none other than Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division’s (NSWCDD) Acting Deputy Activity Information Officer and Enterprises Services Branch Head Shannon Layton.
“I just love my job,” Layton says with a smile that rivals the sun. “I can’t imagine working anywhere else.”
Layton started at NSWCDD as a contractor in 2003 before transitioning to a government civilian position in June 2009.
“I feel like my career really started then,” she recalled. “I always had an interest in the IT (Information Technology) world. My father was a computer science major; he retired from the Navy after 20 years. My brother, who worked for the Social Security Administration, went into the IT field. I followed in their footsteps.”
Layton’s passion for IT is contagious and excellent. She successfully led a team in the deployment of Dahlgren’s ‘One-Stop IT Portal,’ designed to reduce customer wait times and deliver real-time monitoring of IT requests and customer satisfaction levels. For her work leading the team, Layton received the Department of the Navy’s Civilian Service Commendation Medal (CSCM), which “recognizes performance well above that, which is usually expected of an individual,” according to the award explanation.
The award citation specifically mentions both the One-Stop IT Portal, as well as the successful “acquisition and development of a Q-Less application that notifies customers in real-time via mobile app, when they can be seen by a Common Access Card (CAC) Office representative.”
The Q-less application helped reduce COVID-19 exposures among employees during the height of the pandemic by allowing customers to wait for their appointments in their cars instead of a common lobby area.
“It is still working really well, [even now that we’re out of the maximum telework status] it seems to limit the contact between people, which is good because the CAC office space is small,” said Layton. The application allows for the waiting time to be put to good use, instead of it being dead time. “It’s definitely giving more flexibility to the employees.”
Layton hopes to see the One-Stop IT Portal transition into a larger portal for Command services in the future. “For example, the foreign travel tracker is in that portal now, and in the future, we’re hoping to see a procurement tracker,” she explained.
Although the CSCM award specifically names Layton, the IT expert quickly recognized her own team for their work.
“None of this would be at all possible without a team,” she said. “The IT team we have supporting us at command are busting their butts. They are absolutely phenomenal people working tirelessly to bring our organization into both current modern technology and surpassing that.”