History Of TWO Mentoring Program
TWO’s membership is comprised of committed, dedicated, energetic,
and talented individuals representing various FAA technical organizations.
Some of our goals in TWO look to providing networking opportunities, information
sharing, educational resources, and developmental opportunities for our members.
With these goals in mind, TWO tries to create programs that would help enhance and
promote our members’ careers.
One thing we are very, very proud of within TWO is being the creators of the Mentoring Program.
In 1994 TWO members from Airway Facilities (AF) [Technical Operations] looked for
ways to foster the professional and personal growth of members in TWO and elsewhere.
They developed and implemented a Mentoring Program that would help our members and
others achieve the skills and knowledge needed to grow in the Agency. A group of 40
AF Mentees attended our first program. TWO felt Mentees would also benefit from
cross-organizational exposure, so folks from other Lines-of-Business and Organizations were invited
to participate (Airports, Security, etc...) in the second program. Airway Facilities
again financially supported TWO’s Mentoring program and our program grew from there,
evolving into a nationwide program.
Since TWO looks to our Mentor/Mentee Program as a 'give back to the FAA’
project, our program was initially nurtured by various TWO Executive board
members and their working relationships with FAA Administrators. Nurtured by
funding and faith: funding provided by the Administrators laid the foundation
for TWO to continue the successful Mentor/Mentee Program and faith, by TWO and
the Administration, created the successful, award-winning program that is
benefiting not only the FAA's employees, but the FAA as well!
In 2002 the Professional Women's Controller (PWC) organization at Headquarters
was given the opportunity to participate in our Mentoring Program, providing their
members the benefits of TWO’s Mentor/Mentee program. PWC later partnered with
TWO to provide mentoring at Headquarters. This was the evolution to the TWO/PWC
By 2008 we were mentoring at ten (10) nationwide locations with a record
accomplishment of over 100 Mentees graduating and feedback resulting in high praise
for the program.
Starting in early 2007 both TWO and PWC’s National Mentoring Points-Of-Contact were contacted by and in discussions with FAA Human Resources (AHR) about a Corporate Mentoring Program. It was AHR’s desire to establish a Corporate Mentoring Program as part of their Business Plan and in May 2007 HR’s Chief Learning Officer (AHD) held a national telcon to discuss details. A National Steering Committee, chaired by AHD, was created. AHR’s proposal consisted of TWO and PWC members to administer the mentoring program through their continued volunteer effort and AHR/AHD providing the funding via the Steering Committee. In addition, both TWO and PWC would then be under the auspices of a National Oversight and budget structure with respect to this Mentoring Program. The National Steering Committee employed TWO/PWC’s Mentoring CD, manual, and other materials in the formation of the Corporate Mentoring Program.
In an email dated 9/14/07 our National Mentoring POC wrote, “It gives me great pleasure to share with you some very exciting news! The Technical Women's Organization (TWO)/Professional Women Controllers (PWC) ongoing mentoring program partnership has achieved a truly historical milestone. Late yesterday Ventris Gibson, Assistant Administrator for Human Resource Management, shared the exciting news that our FAA has stepped forward to establish the TWO/PWC Mentoring effort as the Agency's official mentoring program. This level of support means many more employees will soon benefit from employee development opportunities.
Especially remarkable about this unprecedented event is TWO with PWC will continue to focal and administer current and future mentoring programs. A profound acknowledgement of the value these 2 Employee Associations are contributing to the FAA mission…”
At this same time, during the September 12th, 2007 meeting of the National Employee Forum, Ventris Gibson talked to Lynette Jamison (PWC President) and myself discussing the same news. Hearing the Mentoring Program would now be funded was the most exciting point I took away from this conversation. I was very happy and excited.
Future of TWO Mentoring Program
I have gotten a few different explanations, but in essence within weeks of the Corporate Program funding being issued (around Feb/Mar 07) to the Mentoring groups to run their Mentoring program (typically a six month program that runs to Jan - June), it was stopped on May 22nd, 2007 with the below email message:
“As of today, May 22nd, you no longer have the authority to make any new commitments using the corporate mentoring funds for your local program. Individuals will be personally liable for obligations made after this date. Please submit copies of all outstanding obligating documents to Valerie Alexander. AHR is pulling back the unobligated funds three weeks earlier than originally planned due to the time it has been taking to get the monthly tracking of expenditures completed.”
TWO was to continue administering and running the Agency’s Corporate Mentoring program at their locations and to solicit for local funding in order to cover any costs since AHR had pulled the funding to use elsewhere.
When told our Mentoring program would be taken National and funded, it excited us to know many more folks would be able to participate in the Mentoring program. But it was unconscionable for us to continue supporting the Corporate program when funding was pulled in such a manner. When we were asked to continue running the program and obtain our own funding, something we were doing before we had been approached, the Executive Board decided this is too much of a burden to place on full-time working employees who were doing this as a volunteer effort. More importantly, this agreement was made in good faith on TWO’s behalf and had been accepted based on the knowledge the Corporate Mentoring program would be funded long-term and we would be able to help assist and administer the program.
The National Steering Committee and AHD have the ability to fulfill their responsibility outlined in their FAA Mentoring Program Plan:
• Identifies goals, set strategic direction
• Secures and allocates resources (budget, time, etc.)
• Identifies and supports infrastructure needs (toolbox kit, KSN, eLMS, etc.)
• Establishes and ensures execution of the Mentoring Program Plan
• Establishes program metrics and evaluate outcomes
• Establishes corporate mentoring training curriculum
• Develops the Communication Plan
• Supporting establishment of local mentoring programs
• Evaluate, review, and ensure appropriate sponsorship for new site programs
• Chair the Steering Committee
• Provides program direction and policy
• Facilitates full utilization of existing Agency resources ($, KSN, etc.)
• Manages support contracts
• Accomplishes upward quarterly/monthly reporting
• Facilitates feedback loop to Steering Committee
• Ensures program evaluations (showcases results, etc.)
• Coordinates the Communication Plan
Since no one is allowed to conduct a program similar to a National program such as the Corporate Mentoring Program, we have not been able to do what we do best – run our original Mentoring Program. We are dismayed at the state of the current National Mentoring program and keep waiting. But there is actually less information on the website now than there was a year ago.
TWO has been working on a few solutions and we are highly encouraged. When something concrete happens, you will be the first to know. We promise!
National TWO President