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Programs promote resilient civilian workforce

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 45th Space Wing is providing DoD civilian employees with resources to help them remain resilient during an upcoming workforce reduction.

The Air Force instituted a 90-day hiring freeze in August and is offering Voluntary Separation Incentive and Voluntary Early Retirement Authority as the result of a Secretary of Defense initiative that holds DoD-wide civilian manning at fiscal year 2010 levels.

Before DoD civilians get stressed about the possibility of displacement from their current positions, the civilian personnel system has provisions to help displaced employees who desire to keep working, including the Reemployment Priority List (RPL), the DoD Priority Placement Program (PPP) and the Inter Agency Career Transition Assistance Plan/Program (ICTAP).

"There are several possibilities for employment within the civilian personnel system," said Woodrow Wilson, 45th Force Support Squadron deputy. "If the employee is involuntarily separated he/she is registered in PPP for 12 months. If they are changed to a  lower grade and placed on grade retention they are registered in PPP for  two years. If separated, registration in RPL is two years if career, one year if career conditional; and ICTAP is 12 months. While under the PPP 12-month registration program it could result in moving. Under PPP a displaced employee could be placed in another DoD agency. Under ICTAP it could be other Federal agencies in the local area."

For further information on RPL, PPP or ICTAP, contact Civilian Personnel Chief Lee Windschitl at 494-8841.

The 45th Space Wing Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is one program geared specifically to helping civilian employees.

EAP offers counseling and social work services to civilian employees for matters of job  performance, work-related stress, topics of substance abuse, personal or professional relationships, grieving and emotional loss, legal or financial problems, issues of family and elder care, separation/divorce; as well as consultation on community health referrals.

Civilian employees are authorized to attend free, confidential EAP appointments during duty hours. For an appointment, call 494-5392.

"We have a variety of resources available," said 45 EAP Chief Larry Kelly. "A good way to tap in is to go to EAP, and see what's available. We're an information and referral source  for civilians, in addition to actually receiving counseling services at EAP. From there, we can see what's available on base and off base."

Stress associated with loss of income and loss of a job can be addressed by the Airmen and Family Readiness Center (A&FRC).

"We support the total 45 SW family, including DoD civilians and their families, and  provide access to the entire gamut of center services," said A&FRC Chief Lil Cassidy.  "For those with financial concerns, the center's nationally certified financial counselors are available to do comprehensive assessment and financial planning."

For further information on A&FRC services for civilians, see the Civilian Pamphlet or call 494-5675.

Another critical confidential resource is the Military  Family Life Consultant, a Master- or Ph.D-level Licensed Clinical Counselor who  provides and addresses relationships, stress management, grief after loss,  occupational and other individual family issues providing crisis intervention when needed.

The Family Life Consultant provides individuals and their families problem-solving services to help them cope with normal reactions to the stressful and often adverse situations created in the workplace and in the home.

Counselors are available to meet both on and off base, but not at homes. Call direct at 482-4970.