The Federal Emergency Management Agency Employee Development Division Receives 19th Annual W. Edwards Deming Award

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Graduate School USA Recognizes Excellence in Workforce Development and Training

Kimberly Robinson of Graduate School USA presents the 2014 W. Edwards Deming Award to FEMA's Employee Development Division team at the Excellence in Government conference in Washington, DC.

“FEMA’s program crosses all departments and initiates change at all levels, truly making the process of transformation ‘everybody’s job,’ as Deming believed it should be,” says Dr. Elaine Ryan, Interim CEO and President of Graduate School USA.

Graduate School USA presented its W. Edwards Deming Award to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Employee Development Division (EDD) on May 12, 2014 at the Excellence in Government (EIG) Conference. Kimberly Robinson, VP of Leadership and International Programs at Graduate School USA, made the award presentation to EDD Director Cheryl Seminara.

FEMA’s EDD was selected for its Individual and Organizational Progressive Leader Development Program, an initiative designed to build proficiency in leader competencies. Tasked with changing the agency's culture of leadership across all levels of responsibility, the EDD designed a wide-scale, innovative model that uses multiple instructional strategies and keeps the needs of individual adult learners at its center.

“FEMA’s program crosses all departments and initiates change at all levels, truly making the process of transformation ‘everybody’s job,’ as Deming believed it should be,” says Dr. Elaine Ryan, Interim CEO and President of Graduate School USA. "We are proud to present the Employee Development Division with this year's W. Edwards Deming Award."

Results of the initiative were soon visible. Within six months of implementing the new supervisor training, FEMA went from 50% supervisor required-training compliance to 92%. Of the first cohort of Future Leaders Program participants, 20% have either been promoted into supervisory positions, into new grade levels, or transitioned from "Cadre of On-call Response Employees" to permanent full-time agency employees. The program is increasingly popular across the organization, with employees at all levels entering the competitive application process. The EDD continues to provide related individual and developmental services to persons who have completed the program, serving as an in-house resource for leadership development.

EDD Director Cheryl Seminara, Ph.D., emphasizes the individualized nature of the program, saying "We believe that we can change the culture of leadership in this agency one leader at a time—finding the right developmental solution at the right time for each person's career."

In addition to presenting the 2014 W. Edwards Deming award at EIG, Graduate School USA hosted a Spotlight Session for attendees. “The Future of Training for Federal Agencies” was moderated by Francis Rose of WTOP’s Federal News Radio and featured a representative from the 2013 Deming Award-winning team, Patricia Hoban-Moore, Chief Administrative Officer, Department of Housing and Urban Development. Also participating were the recently appointed Chief Learning Officer of GSA, Mike Casey; and Al Tyree Director, Business Relations and Learning Solutions, Graduate School USA.

Graduate School USA presents the W. Edwards Deming Award annually to a federal government organization or a civilian or uniformed branch of the military. The award highlights an impressive workforce development and training initiative that has measurably improved the organization’s performance and impacted its mission.

The Award’s namesake is Dr. W. Edwards Deming, who taught at Graduate School USA for 20 years and is considered the father of Total Quality Management. Deming’s work incorporated the idea that employees and managers at all levels of private industry and government have a responsibility to cooperate to improve products and services.

To learn more about Graduate School USA’s W. Edwards Deming Training Award, visit graduateschool.edu/deming.

About Graduate School USA
Dedicated to providing relevant learning opportunities in public service, Graduate School USA has served the DC metro community since 1921. An independent, nonprofit educational institution, the School is dedicated to academic excellence and lifelong learning. Services include career-related courses, certificate and degree programs, continuing education, and distance learning. More information can be found at graduateschool.edu.

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Kimberly Robinson
Graduate School
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