More than mandatory – Omaha District trains new employees to encourage a growth mindset

USACE Omaha District
Published Sept. 7, 2023
New employees conclude their New Employee Orientation with their Oath of Office, administered by Louis Uptmor, senior resident engineer for the Omaha District, Construction Division's Missouri River area of operations, August 24, 2023 at the headquarters building in Omaha, Nebraska. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah Rich)

New employees conclude their New Employee Orientation with their Oath of Office, administered by Louis Uptmor, senior resident engineer for the Omaha District, Construction Division's Missouri River area of operations, August 24, 2023 at the headquarters building in Omaha, Nebraska. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah Rich)

Members of Omaha District’s corporate board answer questions posed by new employees at New Employee Orientation, August 23, 2023 at the headquarters building in Omaha, Nebraska. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah Rich)

Members of Omaha District’s corporate board answer questions posed by new employees at New Employee Orientation, August 23, 2023 at the headquarters building in Omaha, Nebraska. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah Rich)

Angel Lipton, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District training manager, and new district employees listen during around-the-room introductions at New Employee Orientation, August 23, 2023 at the headquarters building in Omaha, Nebraska. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah Rich)

Angel Lipton, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District training manager, and new district employees listen during around-the-room introductions at New Employee Orientation, August 23, 2023 at the headquarters building in Omaha, Nebraska. (U.S. Army photo by Sarah Rich)

The staff at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District is growing. With a budget increasing year-over-year, taking on new projects, and a commitment to delivering engineering solutions effectively, hiring initiatives are taking place across the district’s offices and divisions.

“We have been fortunate to be seen as a leader in getting jobs done and as a model for other districts (across the USACE enterprise) to emulate, but we can’t do that without really great people,” said Angel Lipton, Omaha District’s training manager. “That’s why our district is leaning in and stepping up to the plate to hire incredible people who are intelligent, dedicated and unbelievably skilled.”

Within the district’s mission support office lies the training office, which takes on an important role in the facilitation of New Employee Orientation. Lipton is the lead on NEO training, overseeing and presenting throughout the two-day event.

Lipton says NEO is a “key staple” that has been an ongoing initiative for new hires for tens of years. The training occurs quarterly, with attention to avoiding busy work periods, ensuring all new employees of the district can come together online or in-person.

New employees can swiftly knock out several mandatory trainings through NEO, including training in critical incident stress management, public affairs, security, ethics, equal employment opportunity and safety.

NEO also calls upon district leadership, corporate board members and division chiefs to speak directly to new employees. They explain their background and responsibilities, share words of wisdom, and turn the conversation over to new employees to ask questions.

“Learning about this district’s culture, our colleagues, our job and setting high standards for ourselves doesn’t stop once NEO is over,” Lipton said. “Everyone in this district has room for growth and development, but it takes personal effort and fortitude to have a growth mindset, and that’s what NEO tries to help folks find.”

NEO concludes with new employees taking their oath of office, administered by a member of staff.

 “When we take the oath of office, that is the moment we affirm our commitment to the American people and their government,” Lipton said. “We acknowledge the trust that is being instilled in us and our obligation to uphold that trust through ethical behavior, loyalty, and conducting ourselves in a fashion that begets an honorable service-centric career.”    

The district held its most recent NEO on 23­–24 Aug., with a class of 40 new employees. New-hires come from varied positions, backgrounds and experience levels, as well as different district project offices across the district’s 10-state area of responsibility.

To learn about our current employment opportunities, visit: https://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Careers/


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