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USACE Galveston District recruits and retains diverse workforce

GALVESTON, Texas (Dec. 2, 2016) – Achieving diversity in the workplace is one goal most employers work toward but often find challenging to accomplish. In an effort to create a workplace that is reflective of the communities in which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District serves, staff works to partner with local institutions that offer engineering programs in hopes its students will consider a career with the Corps following graduation.

The 2016 Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering Program hosted a conference at the Tuskegee University in Alabama in September 2016, aimed to help businesses diversify America’s work force in preparation for the challenges of the 21st Century and beyond.

“The AMIE Conference allows the corporate and governmental agencies that support the 15 accredited HBCU engineering schools the opportunity to attack the complex problem of diversifying the workforce for the 21st Century by sharing best practices and initiatives that can directly impact this real dilemma that America¹s workforce is facing,” Dr. Kendall T. Harris, dean of the College of Engineering at Prairie View A& M.

According to Dr. Rose Caballero, Equal Employment Opportunity officer and coordinator of the AMIE Program for the USACE Galveston District, this partnership helps prepare students for leadership positions in the engineering field after graduation.

“AMIE will assist the USACE Galveston District in recruiting a workforce comprised of a diverse pool of high-performing individuals with valuable talents and strengths that are critical to providing excellent services to all Corps customers,” said Caballero.

Caballero works diligently within the USACE Galveston District on collaborative efforts that build upon human relations, in an effort to promote and recruit African Americans into government. She was instrumental in coordinating Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) and the district signing the Memorandum of Understanding to solidify their commitment to open doors for African Americans in architecture, engineering, construction and various other fields in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Prior to the existence of this agreement, there were few African Americans being represented in these career fields in the Houston-Galveston area.

Caballero explained that partnership agreements, such as the one with PVAMU, outline opportunities to assist in preparing engineering students for responsible positions in an engineering environment to include environmental engineering and civil programs as well as to enlighten engineering students about the Corps, its missions, unique capabilities and opportunities through student career experience programs, internships and career development programs.

PVAMU is one of 105 HBCUs that represent only three percent of the nation’s institutions of higher learning and graduate nearly 20 percent of African American students with baccalaureate degrees, according to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

“Partnerships such as this one has enabled the USACE Galveston District to recruit, mentor, develop, advance and retain a diverse workforce,” said Caballero. “We continue to work diligently to eliminate barriers that hinder equal opportunities and remain dedicated to promoting equal employment opportunities.”

To ensure the students success, she created a mentorship program that extends beyond the boundaries of the workplace and provide the means for students to attend and complete their summer internships. Caballero’s continued dedication and personal oversight has propelled the district’s partnering agreements and become driving force in its ability to continue to attract and retain a diverse pool of engineering talent.

For more information regarding career fairs, AMIE conference or assistance with coordinating campus visits, contact 409-766-3920To learn more about the USACE Galveston District’s partnership agreement with PVAMU visit http://www.swg.usace.army.mil/About/Partners/PrairieViewAMUniversity.aspx. Find us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/GalvestonDistrict  or follow us on Twitter, www.twitter.com/USACEgalveston.


USACE Galveston District’s Employee Spotlight on Clark Bartee

GALVESTON, Texas (Dec. 1, 2016) – Pursuing a career in law seemed like a natural course for Clark Bartee, the son of a college pre-law advisor and university professor, but it took a chance encounter for him to realize this was a path he was destined to pursue.

“When I finished law school, I was uncertain about pursuing law as a career when I came across a job posting in 1994 for the technical/legal library at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District,” said Bartee. “Once on board, I was guided by some excellent leaders, mentors and role models in the Corps who encouraged me to join the Office of Counsel.”

As an assistant district counsel for the district, Bartee now works across a broad range of practice areas including civil works, real estate, contracting, environmental law, fiscal law, employment law, information and privacy law, procurement fraud and ethics. His current specific appointments include those of ethics counselor and procurement fraud advisor, where he has been working to reinvigorate the district’s procurement fraud program – a program that focuses on procurement integrity and fraud prevention and deterrence.

“We wanted to reintroduce fraud prevention education to increase awareness,” said Bartee. “This training will hopefully help all of us as employees to identify fraud risks and manage them appropriately.”

With the increase in business along the Texas coast and a greater pressure to deliver and perform on schedule, Bartee acknowledges that this pressure can create an environment for cutting corners and skipping essential steps needed to conduct federal business correctly.

“Our ethics and internal control programs are key to encouraging and ensuring that those unacceptable risks are recognized, reported and managed appropriately,” said Bartee.

In addition to the ethics training, he is focused on streamlining the district’s Freedom of Information Act program (often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government) to provide easier access to district information.

Bartee explained that he has been transitioning the program into an electronic system to reduce paperwork, increase efficiency and speed response times for the release of information to the public.

Throughout his career, Bartee says that the one thing has remained unchanged with his work is the talented, diverse, professional, and great people with whom he has the opportunity to associate.

“Not many positions afford the opportunity to work with engineers, auditors, contracting officers and specialists, real estate specialists, regulators, archaeologists, biologists and other specialists as are in the Corps of Engineers,” Bartee said. “Gaining the trust of these teammates in the provision of legal services is the ultimate reward of the job.”

Bartee earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Baylor University, a Juris Doctor from Washington University and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2008, he received the Department of Justice Law Enforcement Commendation Award. In his free time he enjoys spending his time with his wife and daughter, as well as hiking, biking, surfing and reading.


The official U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division publication