New Orleans district takes proactive approach to recruiting new employees
When competing for new engineering graduates at the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) conference against the likes of Northrup Grumman and other top private sector companies in February, New Orleans District Geotechnical Branch-Deputy Chief April Falcon-Villa had two tools at her disposal to level the recruiting playing field.
One of them was one of her employees, Thomas West, who recently was recognized as the 2019 Black Engineer of the Year in the “Most Promising Engineer” category, and the other was the direct hiring authority given to Corps hiring managers for specific positions. New Orleans District Deputy Commander Maj. Jordon Davis received the 2019 BEYA Modern Day Technology Leader award at the conference as well.
“Thomas is from Jackson State, and I was able to point to him and tell them (the students from Jackson State),’This could be you in 10 years,’” Falcon-Villa said.
While West provided an example of how the Corps develops new engineers, having the direct hiring authority capability helps level the playing field in the Corps’ ability to hire engineering talent in what is becoming an increasingly competitive environment, she said.