After severe winter storms and flooding resulted in a declared disaster in Nebraska, two employees at the Joint Field Office took the opportunity to focus on Objective 2:1 of the Strategic Plan: Organize the "BEST" (Build, Empower, Sustain and Train) scalable and capable incident workforce. Region VII Federal Coordinating Officer Constance C. Johnson-Cage and Equal Rights Advisor Patricia Nickleberry implemented The Leadership and Empowerment Initiative.
The vision for the initiative came from Region VII Administrator Paul Taylor's objective of "enhancing supervisor and employee growth through professional and career development."
Since May 1, 2019, 350 employees have attended more than 20 facilitated leadership workshops and discussion groups. One of the workshops, Communication for Leaders, taught employees how to more effectively communicate with each other and provide a higher level of service to disaster survivors. Participants learned how to better understand the needs of survivors and convey information about Individual Assistance and resources. As a result, FEMA employees were able to successfully network with their peers to better assist Nebraska communities impacted by disasters.