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DLA Information Operation's Drawbaugh receives 2013 DLA Outstanding Employee with a disABILITY Award

By Sam Guy, DLA Distribution Command Affairs

Justin Drawbaugh, information technology specialist, Defense Logistics Agency Information Operations, New Cumberland, PA, information technology specialist is the winner of the Department of Defense Outstanding Employee with a Disability Award for 2013.

A native of York, Pa., Drawbaugh attended Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, N.Y., completing an associate's degree in Applied Computer Technology at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, one of the nine colleges of RIT. Drawbaugh also received his bachelor of science in Information Technology at RIT.

Following his graduation in 2003, a recruiter from the Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities, was visiting the RIT campus. WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects federal and private sector employers nationwide with highly- motivated college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workplace through summer or permanent jobs. "I participated in an interview with a recruiter and a couple of months later, I was offered an IT Specialist position with DLA in New Cumberland and was placed in the two-year DLA corporate internship program [now called DLA Pathways to Career Excellence (PaCE) Program]," said Drawbaugh.

Drawbaugh spent those two years traveling and participating in on-the-job assignments, cross-training, rotational assignments, and formal training which provided Drawbaugh a better understanding of DLA and its mission. "The program was a wonderful experience and really helped me prepare for my career advancement to where I am today," added Drawbaugh.

After his internship was complete, Drawbaugh became a permanent employee of DLA Information Operations and currently designs, develops and tests numerous system changes for the Java Automated Manifest System, a technical and complicated JAVA-based client application that interfaces with web service applications on remote systems in order to gather data and create radio frequency identification tags. JAMS allows registered users to read and write digital information on the RFID tags for carton level, commercial trucks, air pallets, and shipping containers using the handheld barcode scanner and mobile RFID reader. "While Justin was not the creator of JAMS, he has worked tirelessly to understand the details and inner workings of the project," said Jeffery Charlesworth, director of DSS Portfolio Management, DLA Information Operations, Ogden, Utah. "He has designed and developed numerous System Change Requests for JAMS on-time and with minimal system test deficiencies."

Drawbaugh works with system analysts using various methods of communication to thoroughly understand the SCR requirements. As part of the SCR process, he has presented both preliminary and critical design reviews to a large user community through the use of video teleconferencing. These reviews have been well received and he has used the exchange of ideas to improve the design and final product. "Your tireless efforts of designing, developing and testing of numerous system changes for JAMS allowed a finalized installation package for deployment, and due to your exceptional performance in learning, maintaining, and updating JAMS, you are now considered as the technical subject matter expert on JAMS," stated DLA Director Navy Vice Adm. Mark Harnitchek, in a letter to Drawbaugh.

In addition to JAMS, Drawbaugh, and his team, are responsible for the Vendor Shipment Module, a web-based system that utilizes Distribution Standard System, DLA's distribution and warehousing management system, routing logic and addressing to provide DLA vendors with military shipping labels and transportation documents for their DLA-administered contracts. Drawbaugh's skills in multiple programming languages allowed him to be a contributor to these DLA applications as well as others. "Justin works easily with other team members and is always willing to take on new assignments and challenges, which is especially important and useful to the team when surges in workload are experienced," said Patrick Hawkins, supervisory IT specialist, DLA Information Operations, New Cumberland, Pa.

Drawbaugh was recently designated as the local site coordinator for Section 508 compliance. Section 508 compliance refers to section 508 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act which requires that electronic and information technology, developed by the federal government, be accessible to people with disabilities. In this role, Drawbaugh is responsible for reviewing application web pages for accessibility deficiencies which must be corrected. For each of the findings, he reviews and recommends corrective action with other team members.

Outside of his routine duties, for several years Drawbaugh has served as a recruiter representing DLA at the NTID job fairs and as a recruiter in the WRP. In this capacity, Drawbaugh has reviewed resumes, interviewed candidates, and provided insight and recommendations into the possible employment of persons with disabilities. This has supported DLA's commitment to having a diverse workforce and culture. "I selected to work for DLA because the organization has been a strong advocate in hiring people with disabilities along with their commitment to provide many types of workplace accommodation and assistive technology," said Drawbaugh.

Drawbaugh has been acknowledged for his efforts supporting the agency and his team. In 2007, he was recognized for his efforts on the DSS Migration and Modernization Team assisting in the enormous effort of upgrading and modernizing the DSS database.

Along with the global service he provides, he also contributes to his local community through motivational speaking and mentoring. Drawbaugh volunteers his own time to mentor many Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students in the Dallastown, Pa., area. "I encourage them to attend college, strive to their fullest potential, and achieve their dreams and goals," said Drawbaugh.

He visits several DHH elementary, middle, and high school classrooms during the school year, serving as a role model and example of a successful DHH professional. He helps DHH students to prepare for college by sharing what they may expect to face during their years in college. Drawbaugh also reads books to DHH children using American Sign Language at his local library, and since 2006, has participated yearly in the Walk to Defeat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis fundraising effort, which supports the ALS Association - Greater Philadelphia Chapter.

When asked how he feels about being selected for the award, Drawbaugh stated that he is honored and humbled to receive this award, but was quick to recognize the mentors he has had along the way, and the opportunities he had with DLA and the WRP. "This award is not only about my accomplishments and successes, but about my ability, along with the rest of others in DLA, to serve the warfighter," said Drawbaugh. "They put their lives on the line for us and it is our responsibility to provide them with the best logistical support to accomplish their mission and come home safely to their families and loved ones."

Justin Drawbaugh, information technology specialist, at Defense Logistics Agency Information Operations New Cumberland, Pa., has been awarded the 2013 DLA Outstanding Employee with a Disability Award. Justin Drawbaugh, information technology specialist, at Defense Logistics Agency Information Operations New Cumberland, Pa., has been awarded the 2013 DLA Outstanding Employee with a Disability Award.

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