By Edward Rivera
Fort Worth District
FORT WORTH, Texas - The Air Force Recruiting Service hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony in a first-of-its-kind, nationwide recruiting hub office Aug. 1 in Austin, Texas, as part of a national rebranding initiative.
During the ceremony, more than 60 applicants were sworn into the delayed entry program outside of the new office, which expands the manning of traditional recruiting offices from commonly two recruiters to nine, regionalizing recruiting efforts.
Odessa Fielder, Fort Worth District Real Estate Recruiting and Housing Section, anticipates that existing Air Force recruiting offices will be rebranded based on this and a prototype office recently accepted in Live Oak, Texas.
For the Corps the concept is not new said Fielder.
"The Army started this concept with their 'pinnacle' offices in 2011. These offices are larger than the regular recruiting facilities ranging from nine to 15 recruiters for the region," Fielder said.
The Air Force's regional or "hub" offices will absorb the one and two recruiter offices requiring the Corps to find larger spaces to accommodate recruiting teams from nine to 11 members.
The current recruiting model is based on one- or two-person offices where recruiters are separated from their teammates and flight chief - and are frequently away from their offices due to community engagement activities. This has led to a more expensive resource footprint and challenges with recruiter professional development and applicant access to a recruiter.
The flight-centric concept will improve these areas.
Communication and teamwork had been essential throughout the design and construction of the new office. The Air Force provided the Corps with minimum requirements: types of rooms, square footage of those rooms, and the square footage needed per recruiter for the main office. Based on that, Sarah Watts, realty specialist, drew up several conceptual floor plans.
"The floor plan which was selected for construction was one which I drew based on input from the recruiting service," said Watts. "This floor plan allows for maximum circulation within the whole space, privacy for the conference room, secured access, and follows American Disabilities Act requirements."
The recruiting service is constantly developing new and innovative ways of conducting business, especially in light of current budget constraints. With the need to operate with fewer resources, these consolidated offices are designed to strengthen the recruiting force while simultaneously requiring fewer resources to carry out the mission.
"This office completes the initial phase of the recruiting transformation that will ultimately provide better support to our future airmen," said Air Force Col. Robert Borja, 369th Recruiting Group commander, based in San Antonio. "We will have more recruiter availability in the office and a flight chief on site to help with the professional development of our force."