By Tonya Johnson
DCMA Public Affairs
Erik Imajo, an employee in the Defense Contract Management Agency’s Total Force Directorate, won the 4th Estate Director, Acquisition Career Management award on April 28. He is the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act team lead in the Strategic Learning Division. (DCMA graphic by Cheryl Jamieson)
Erik Imajo, an employee who works in the Strategic Learning Division of Defense Contract Management Agency’s Total Force Directorate, won the 4th Estate Director, Acquisition Career Management award, known as DACM, on April 28.
Scott Bauer, the director of the organization, presented Imajo with the award during the 4th Estate annual DACM summit held virtually. Approximately 130 people from Department of Defense 4th Estate agencies participated in the summit.
“This year’s awardee exemplifies key attributes, among them are a collaborative mindset, a passion for the workforce, effective communication and an overall belief in the value of empowering the team,” said Bauer during the call.
Imajo, who is the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act team lead in the Strategic Learning Division, said he was surprised, but grateful, to receive the award.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the 4th Estate Director, Acquisition Career Management,” said Imajo, who has been with DCMA since 2014. “I want to ensure that DCMA’s acquisition workforce has access to training and opportunities. Scott Bauer and his team of Aaron Hutson (deputy director) and Diane Jackson (management analyst) have been phenomenal in their support to DCMA, and to me.”
Bauer noted that Imajo is an asset to DCMA and DoD.
“(Bauer) demonstrated selfless dedication and unparalleled time management skills, collaborating with us on several new, innovative efforts to streamline and modernize DCMA,” Bauer said. “Erik’s distinctive accomplishments reflect great credit upon himself, DCMA, and DoD.”
According to Bauer, Imajo updated DCMA’s policy memos as they relate to the Office of the Secretary of Defense functional leader contracting curriculum and Defense Acquisition University predecessor courses. Imajo developed a project plan to ensure the success of the agency’s certification processing initiative through the Defense Talent Acquisition Management System. Imajo also provided multiple continuous learning webinars to ensure DCMA’s workforce was informed about the common continuous learning cycle transition.
The DAWIA team is responsible for ensuring DCMA’s acquisition workforce has access to training and opportunities to support their careers, to include DAWIA certification, position-specific requirements, Defense Acquisition Corps membership and continuous learning.
In the past year, the DCMA acquisition workforce has undergone several significant changes. The implementation of an automated certification process simplified and expedited the approval of DAWIA certifications. The transition to a single continuous learning cycle improved DCMA’s ability to track agency trends as its acquisition workforce earned continuous learning points to maintain proficiency in their career fields and meet requirements. In October 2019, the additional training requirements for certification in the contracting career field prompted the DAWIA team to develop a streamlined process for DCMA’s experienced contracting workforce to fulfill the new requirements through credit for prior education, training and experience.
Imajo credited his team — June Say, Donna King and Todd Franklin — for their professionalism and said the award reflects their hard work.
“They are instrumental in implementing new processes, and work tirelessly to ensure the training success of our acquisition workforce,” said Imajo. “The training coordinators are our ambassadors throughout the agency. They quickly learn new processes and spread them throughout the workforce.”
According to Imajo, Dr. Jeannie Fox Craig, Strategic Learning Division director, was instrumental in keeping him focused on future requirements and provided encouragement along the way.
“I am extremely proud of all of the work that Erik and his team performed over the course of the past year,” said Fox Criag. “Changing the way the DAWIA program operates within the largest acquisition workforce in the 4th Estate is no easy feat. Not only did Erik incorporate the new guidance and processes, his passion for the workforce drove him to develop and instruct hours of virtual learning opportunities providing an outlet for employees to learn firsthand how the changes affect them and their work. This award is a direct reflection of Erik’s hard work and dedication to all DCMA employees.”
In addition to the award recognition, the summit included guest briefers from DAU and Human Capital initiatives. The goal of the summit was to discuss DoD acquisition workforce changes, which includes the introduction of virtual classes accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, provide an update on upcoming changes in DAWIA certifications and credentialing, and discuss various initiatives within DACM.
For more information about the 4th Estate DACM office, visit https://4edacm.dau.edu/about-us.html.
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