Building upon the success of last year’s event, the 440th Airlift Wing’s 2nd annual Career and Diversity Day is broadening its scope to celebrate the cultural background of its Airmen, while showcasing the resources of the greater Fayetteville area.
Career and Diversity Day, scheduled for Oct. 4 and 5 during the unit training assembly at Pope Field, is expected to have nearly 40 table exhibits and seminars aimed at Pope Field Airmen. The event is being planned by the wing’s Human Resources and Development Council.
“Our event in October will be greatly expanded from what we did last year,” said Col. Kimberly Robinson, 440th Airlift Wing Inspector General and HRDC vice chairman. “Last year we educated our people about the wing’s mission to train combat-ready Airmen and the jobs needed to accomplish that on base. Now we want to engage the community and help our Airmen understand all the opportunities and connections that they have right here in the Pope community.”
To help bridge the gap and forge a stronger bond between the military and the community, several local organizations will be exhibiting at the event. Expected to attend are the Piedmont Triad Partnership, a private, non-profit economic development organization based in North Carolina’s Triad region of Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point; Blacks in Government; Toastmasters; Women in Aviation; area colleges; a local Veterans of Foreign Wars group; various squadrons and other organizations.
Local ethnic restaurants are participating in the event as well, providing “a taste of ethnicity” through various food tastings as a way to celebrate diversity through food.
In addition to strengthening ties to the community, the Career and Diversity Day’s second goal is to celebrate and recognize the rich heritage that each Airman brings to the wing.
“This whole event is designed to help us understand our Airmen better,” said Col. Sharon Johnson, 440th Maintenance Group commander and HRDC member. “We want to continue celebrating in other ways that showcase our ethnicity and culture diversity.”
Johnson said one wing Reservist, who is Native American, will be sharing his experiences and culture at the event.
A noticeable change from last year is making Career and Diversity Day a two-day event to encourage all members of the Pope Field team and Fort Bragg to attend. Also, attendees can sign up for special breakout seminars.
For example, Robinson is leading a seminar titled StrengthsFinder, which helps people identify their leadership qualities and develop their strengths for personal and professional growth. People can attend the seminar by registering online at www.signupgenius.com/index.cfm?go=c.PrintSignup&listid=1578922&memberid=578601.
Another seminar planned focuses on military promotion package, evaluation and award writing. Additional seminars will be announced as the event draws near and will be posted on the wing’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/440AW.