Tania Dawson, program manager of NAVAIR University, received the NAVAIR Human Capital Management Dept. National Employee of the Year 2019 Award March 4.
According to the nomination, “her willingness to take on any challenge makes her an exemplary team member, a true leader within the department and well deserving of this recognition.”
Dawson took over managing the university — a learning program comprised of nine colleges that serves as a single interface for training and development for NAVAIR employees — almost five years ago.
“Since then, I am extremely proud of the work we have accomplished to bring the workforce a solitary storefront, via our website, to register for training and events and track their progress,” she said. Dawson, who has worked in different capacities throughout Human Capital for more than 20 years, said she realized NAVAIR’s learning strategy needs to address the learning needs of each individual.
“We have multiple generations and types of learners in our workforce,” she explained, “each of whom are comfortable learning in particular ways. We have to be cognizant of those varieties and adapt to serve their needs. At NAVAIRU, we work with our leadership and the general workforce to understand those needs and leverage modern learning strategies to guide them to the best way to address workforce learning demands.”
Overall, Dawson was recognized for her “professionalism, enthusiasm and agility” in overseeing the colleges, leading a cross-college working group and sharing best practices with other systems commands and academic partners.
She has made several enhancements to the university: She worked with the NAVAIR Digital Group to include a time-saving “test-out” feature for mandatory training, saving 14 work years and restoring five hours back to employees. As of September 2019, more than 10,000 employees have tested out of mandatory training.
Additionally, Dawson secured a five-year contract for training development and delivery, resulting in significant cost savings and rapid delivery of training services to NAVAIR colleges, groups and other system commands. Using this contract, she helped the Fleet Readiness Centers launch an urgently needed Apprentice Program and helped the Sustainment Group with its critical training requirements.
Under her leadership, NAVAIRU has offered more than 1,100 online courses and 2,900 classes nationally and has trained more than 55,000 employees.
In the future, Dawson hopes to introduce more modern learning strategies and tools by introducing embedded training solutions, improving the user experience of the NAVAIRU website and staying on the forefront of learning management and delivery.
“Ultimately, I strive every day to ensure our workforce has access to maintain and improve upon the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to keep our fleet prepared to fight and win in theater,” Dawson said.