McALESTER, Okla. — The McAlester Army Ammunition Plant is streamlining its hiring practices, which should make it much simpler for those wanting to work at the plant to submit their employment applications and navigate the hiring process.

Called Direct Hire Authority, McAAP has received directions from the U.S. Department of Defense on how the new authority should be implemented.

“We have more than 150 positions we need to fill,” said McAAP Public Affairs Officer Kevin Jackson. 

He and McAAP Civilian Personnel Advisory Center Director Molly Wiegand agreed the new process should be more beneficial for applicants as well as for the base itself.

Previously, McAAP job applicants had to go through the USAJOBS site, which is the federal government’s official site for those seeking federal employment. A number of applicants have described it as a complicated, tedious process. Logging onto the usajobs.gov site will no longer be required of McAAP job applicants under the new hiring procedure — at least for most of the year.

“Those folks don’t need to go through USA Jobs,” Jackson said.

“We now have Direct Hire Authority for permanent, temporary and term positions,” Jackson said. The authority is slated to remain in place until Sept. 30, 2018.

McAPP has been granted the authority to fill jobs that are deemed critical or necessary to sustain readiness or a mission surge, he said. The Direct Hire Authority also means the base can directly accept resumes for any position the command deems necessary, he added.

Resumes can now be left at a drop box at the visitor’s building, which is to the right of the main gate entrance to McAAP. It’s not necessary to drive through the security gates to park in the designated visitor’s parking area and drop off the resume, according to Wiegand. The building is open from 5:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Friday, she said. It’s closed on weekends.

The 150 job openings does not necessarily mean the first 150 applicants will be hired. Openings recently in place included everything from general laborers and skilled craftsmen to an engineer, to mention a few examples. That does not mean a specific degree is required for all positions.

McAAP will consider hiring those that show they have the ability to use tools and equipment, she said. Not all of the openings are directly tied to the production line.

“It’s based on the vacancies,” Wiegand said. On a given day, McAAP may be looking for administrative personnel, supply specialists, IT specialists or for someone in computer operations, she said.

Applicants who are veterans should include their DD-214 information, which has to do with their release and discharge from the military.

“If they bring them in, we recommend they put their resume and any documentation they may include, like a DD-214, certificate of release, or discharge from active duty, in an envelope, Jackson said. A cover letter is welcome but not required, he said.

Also, resumes will be accepted by email. Jackson said electronic applications can be sent to usarmy.mcalester.usamc.mbx.cpac-wpt@mail.mil.

Applications will be reviewed through McAAP’s Office of Personnel Management to make sure the applicants are qualified for the positions they are seeking, according to Jackson.

“They will still have to go through a pre-employment process to make sure they are qualified,” Jackson said of the applicants. Background checks and national security background checks are also required. No one with a felony conviction will be hired at McAAP, according to Wiegand.

It’s possible that McAAP may still have to utilize the USAJOBS site occasionally — especially for positions that may be more difficult to fill, such as those requiring radiographers or engineers, for example.

“We may not have a sufficient pool locally,” Jackson said.

Those who have already submitted applications through the USAJOBS site are welcome to go ahead and submit their resumes directly to McAAP if they want, Wiegand said. Doing so could expedite the application review process.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com

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