Are you a federal employee who wants to be a better leader, communicate more effectively, manage projects, and work with a high-performing team to address significant and complex issues? Then apply now
to the Challenge Team Program, sponsored by the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC), with participation from the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
First launched at the White House Initiative Federal Employee Conference on Friday, July 12, 2013, the FAPAC Challenge Teams is an innovative new project-oriented, experiential training-based program targeted at developing skills for emerging federal employee leaders while working to solve the dilemmas facing the federal government when addressing the needs of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) federal employees and communities.
Who is the program for?
The program is open to all federal employees, but especially those at the GS-9 to GS-14 levels who want to develop leadership and management skills but have had limited opportunities thus far to pursue training, details, or special assignments. Please note that the program is not open to federal contractors.
What will I learn?
In terms of skills, you’ll learn how to effectively collaborate and communicate within a diverse team, develop strategies, and manage projects. You’ll also gain substantive knowledge about a particular policy area, either in capacity building, language access, data disaggregation, or workforce diversity.
Can people participate if they are not in Washington DC?
Yes. However, you will need to be in DC in the fall to attend an in-person kickoff session consisting of a welcome, a discussion on expectations, and creative team-building activities.
How long does the program last?
Approximately 6 months
How much it costs?
There is no cost to participate in the program. The in-person attendance at the kick-off session is highly encouraged and your home office will need to sponsor the travel costs associated with this. Otherwise, teleconference attendance is possible.
How many people will be on each team?
Between 4 to 6 people.
How many teams will there be?
There will be four teams, each one focusing on a particular policy area:
- Capacity Building - To improve access to federal resources, such as grants, for underserved AAPI communities
- Language Access - To ensure that AAPIs who are limited English proficient have meaningful access to federal programs and services
- Data Disaggregation - To have federal agencies collect, research, analyze, and report more granular data on AAPI communities
- Workforce Diversity - To increase AAPI representation in the federal government at all levels and strengthening the pipeline for AAPIs to enter and advance up the ranks.
What will team members be doing?
Team members will first complete virtual training classes on managing projects, communicating effectively, and building high-performance team collaboration. They will then work with advisors to examine long-standing issues and propose solutions to facilitate progress in the cross-cutting challenge areas. Teams will present their final work to an interagency panel, including the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), and other senior level government leaders.
How are the challenges developed?
Participants at the Federal Employee Conference on July 25th will lay the groundwork in developing the challenges using the design thinking process. Challenge teams will then use these initial proposals to build upon their work in creating a work product for submission within the program cycle.
How much time will I be working on a project?
Between 10 to 20 hours per month.
Do I need to get permission from my supervisor to work on a project?
While it’s preferable for your supervisor to approve official duty time for you to participate, you may still be able to work on a project during your personal time.
How do I apply
The challenge team is currently not accepting applicants.
The application has three parts: general information; a personality traits assessment; and short essays. We suggest you prepare your short essays in a separate document and copy them to the online application.
How long does it take to complete the application process?
Aside from the short essays, you should be able to complete the application in less than 20 minutes.
Why does the application have personality trait questions?
In tackling complex problems that have no obvious or easy solutions, a collaborative team’s success depends not only on the combined skill sets of the team members, but also on their personalities and ways of approaching and solving problems.
Such teams do better when they are composed of people with the widest possible range of personalities, who are open to opposing opinions, and who recognize the value of exploring a problem from various angles.
The personality traits questions will help us assemble diverse teams whose members possess complementary skill sets and personalities.
Is there a particular personality type that you are looking for?
No. We want to assemble diverse teams with a wide range of personalities, so just answer the personality trait questions as honestly as you can. There are no right or wrong answers.
Is there a way to save part of my application responses and return later to fill out the rest?
Unfortunately, no. Most of the application can be filled out in less than 20 minutes. For the short essays, we suggest you prepare your responses ahead of time in a separate document and copy them to the online application when you’re ready.
I have some additional questions. Who do I contact to get more information?