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Workforce Development

Welcome to the Workforce Development (WD) homepage! Our job within the Civilian Leadership Development School is to provide professional development opportunities. Our offerings are ideal for newer DAF employees, but we hope everyone can find something useful here.

  FOCUS: Developing Self Competencies

 TARGET AUDIENCE: GS-1 through GS-9 and their equivalents

 OFFERINGS: Workshops, Lunch and Learns, Book Clubs, Self-paced learning

Why is Development Important?

Why is development important? It set you up for success! In the work center, as in life, there are always challenges.  Some of us have learned better skill sets than others for different areas – your friend may be a great public speaker (while you cringe at the thought!)  Your coworker may be more of a “people” person than you.  Your boss may be more detail-oriented than you currently are.  But, in time, you can be just as strong a contributor by creating your individualized developmental path.  Let’s look at the steps you need to take to achieve this:

  1. Assess your current skills – try the AF Competency on myVector to get started
  2. Identify an area you want to work on – you may already have something in mind, or the assessment can suggest an area to work on
  3. Share your plan with your supervisor – Professional development is required for DAF employees as part of your Individual Development Plan (IDP).  Letting your supervisor know about your plan shows initiative and lets them share ideas about how they can help
  4. Learn - take some classes; read an accomplished author in the field or join a book club; or run your own self-development using our topic pages as your guide
  5. Assess your new level – Decide whether you’ve taken your skill to the desired level, or if you need to work on it a bit more.  Getting feedback from coworkers and your supervisor can help get an objective assessment.  
  6. Repeat with a new skill.  Professional development is an ongoing process.  High performers continue to develop throughout their career!

How does development benefit me as an employee?  It gives you more confidence as you deal with daily work challenges.  It can enhance your work performance, helping you look like a star employee. It demonstrates your commitment to excellence.  As your skills grow, so does your ability to thrive at higher levels within the organization.

Learn More About Us


This course is designed to prepare newly hired civilian personnel to be more effective in their roles as civilian employees of the Department of the Air Force team. The curriculum provides an introductory understanding of the Department of the Air Force culture with its unique mission.

Register through Air Force myLearning.


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Whistleblowing Retaliation

Know Your Rights When Reporting Wrongs

Your Rights as a Federal Employee

Employee Development…An Investment in our People
Brian K. Schooley


Our employees are our most valuable resource.

I imagine you’ve heard that before, and most likely, saw it written on a poster or a welcome message.  And supposing you have heard or seen that in your organization, you may have thought, “So…(long, awkward pause inserted here)…what does that mean and what’s in it for me?  Hopefully, it means the organization will invest in you and develop you to be the best you can be to the benefit of you and the organization.

I have no doubt, at their core, leaders believe this premise to be true.  It makes sense, and at the very least, it sure sounds good.  Regardless of how automated we get and how reliant we become on technology, we need to take care of our people. 

One of the most beneficial ways to take care of our people, and in turn, truly demonstrate they are valuable, is through employee development.  That can range from on-the-job training for new folks to charting out a way for someone to become a senior executive.  In fact, the government has leadership development and succession planning codified in law.  Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations calls for the systematic training and development of supervisors, managers, and executives.   

We know not everyone wants or is qualified to be a supervisor, manager or executive.  That’s okay.  Regardless of whether an individual wants to be in their current position for the rest of their life, or if they’re willing to be mobile and want to progress up the ladder, employee development is critical to both the individual’s and the organizations’ success.  The Office of Personnel Management states “Career development planning benefits the individual employee as well as the organization by aligning employee training and development efforts with the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives.”  

Development often seems to be targeted only to those people who are being groomed for promotion or who are willing to be mobile.  For these folks, it’s important to establish individual development plans which provide a roadmap for short- and long-term goals.  But if a person wants to stay in their position for the foreseeable future, we still need to develop them.  We need them to be productive in their current role, so provide them the tools, training, and resources to be current and successful.  Individual development plans are useful for them as well, as you identify needs and any gaps in training or capabilities.

Early in my career, a seasoned manager pulled me into his office and asked me about my future plans.  He wanted to know what type of positions I wanted to work, and more importantly, where I wanted to end up.  I’m not sure why he took an interest in me.  We didn’t work in the same area, and I wasn’t in his organizational chain.  In retrospect, I think I was traveling a similar road as he had taken early in his career, and this was a way for him to give back and provide some short-term mentoring.  With his help, I outlined a map of sorts of the types of positions and assignments I should work towards over the course of my entire career.  He then provided some milestones for me to achieve at different points along the way to help me get where I wanted to go. 

For the most part, I followed that path pretty closely with a few deviations along the way.  It was never written in stone, nor should it have been.  Development is a personal thing, and one’s needs can change over time.  That’s true for the person as well as the organization.  But it starts with a small investment of time and some questions.  It’s hard to develop someone if they don’t know where they want to go.  It reminds me of a section of the book Alice in Wonderland.  “Alice came to a fork in the road.  ‘Which one will I take?’ she asked.  ‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.  ‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.  ‘Then it doesn’t matter,’ replied the cat.”   

But if our people are truly our most valuable resource, it does matter where they want to go.  It also matters where the organization needs to go.  New technologies, laws and policies, fiscal constraints, and a host of other factors will necessitate training and equipping employees.  People’s needs and ambitions will also change over time, and their destination may change.  And that’s okay.  But it’s incumbent upon leaders to keep the dialogue going and to keep asking questions. 

Establishing those individual development plans and revisiting them at least annually can help set new requirements, and maintain currency and qualifications.  They also help ensure they are going in the right direction—wherever and whatever that direction may be for each individual person.  It’s worth the investment.  It does matter.

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