Career Gateway: Acquisition Has Launched
Addressing a need for change in the way acquisition professionals are trained, Tom Dungan III, CEO of Management Concepts, took the stage at Washington, DC’s historic National Press Club today to officially launch Career Gateway: Acquisition. In his remarks, Tom noted that his father started Management Concepts nearly 50 years ago after serving as a contracting officer in the Army, building a practical, skill-based training solution for acquisition professionals. “The acquisition community will always be special to us,” Tom said.
Describing the modern acquisition professional landscape, Tom illustrated “a world that’s much more complex,” and one where “managers and leaders are busier than ever and have less time to develop staff.” These challenges, along with a lack of business acumen, informed the development of Career Gateway: Acquisition, and dominated a robust panel session exploring the acquisition workforce’s current and future needs. Many thanks to our panel members:
- Melissa Starinsky, Managing Member of Starinsky, LLC and former Director and Head of the Contracting Activity for the Office of Acquisition and Grants Management, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
- Julie Boughn, Principal of JBoughn Consulting, LLC, and former Director of the Data and Systems Group within the Center for Medicaid & CHIP Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- Lenn Vincent, President of Vincent and Associates, LLC, and former National President of NCMA and Defense Acquisition University Industry Chair
Comprehensive Training Approach
A product presentation followed, which outlined the outcome-based, scenario-driven training that Career Gateway: Acquisition delivers. Structured in cohorts, the program goes beyond simply training on the technical skills required of the profession, but also integrates training on soft skills — business acumen, ethics, leadership, and problem-solving — to help participants thrive in the profession. In a blended learning environment, participants learn a concept, how to apply that concept to their professional roles, and practice that application through synchronous and asynchronous activities and assignments.
Participants will work independently, in small groups, and with their entire cohort to address challenges and solve problems they’ll face in their careers. “There’s no opting out of this aspect of the training: participants are required to collaborate and discover solutions,” said Katherine Thomas, Career Gateway: Acquisition’s Product Development Manager. “That way, they’ll walk away with the understanding that collaboration with peers is a key, essential skill they’ll need to succeed in their roles and develop in their careers.”
Experiential Learning: Mission to Mars
This integration of educational attributes is unique among professional acquisition training programs, as is the method of delivery — a threaded storyline where participants will support the establishment of a settlement on Mars. The scenario helps participants in the cohort understand the real-world applications of the skills they’re learning. “We use this storyline approach to mimic what they’ll actually be doing in their careers,” said Katherine, “which is to say that the tasks they’ll be challenged with supporting a team setting up a settlement on the surface of Mars are quite similar to the tasks they’ll be challenged with on the job right here on Earth.” The threaded storyline keeps participants engaged and driven, and provides much-needed situational context to the learning and decision-making they’ll be doing.
A True Difference
Katherine concluded the production presentation stressing the completeness and uniqueness of Career Gateway: Acquisition. “By bringing all of these elements together, we maximize the training as much as possible, making the most of our time with participants to help ensure the concepts presented in the training will cement into knowledge they’ll apply throughout their careers.” Put another way, Career Gateway: Acquisition will empower federal acquisition professionals new to their roles with:
- A solid foundation in federal acquisition
- Speed to proficiency and optimal performance
- A professional network of acquisition peers
- Confidence built through hands-on practice during training
Would you like to know more about this experiential cohort-based learning experience? Our explainer video does an excellent job of summarizing how Career Gateway: Acquisition provides acquisition training that is out of this world.
For more information about cohort start dates, email us or call 888.545.8571.