Tisha Swart-Entwistle | Combined Arms Center Public Affairs Office
The November installment of the the Command and General Staff College Foundation’s InterAgency Brown-Bag Lecture Series featured the Greater Kansas City Federal Executive Board Nov. 26 in the Lewis and Clark Center’s Arnold Conference Room.
In his opening remarks, CGSC Foundation Director Rod Cox described the FEB as a chamber of commerce for federal agencies.
“It provides synergistic support and services that a lot of government agencies find very useful,” Cox said.
The FEB has an impact on the organizations at Fort Leavenworth and the ability to interact and work with partners outside the gate, including deploying or readying forces, employment of family members and interaction in the community, Cox said.
Greater Kansas City FEB Executive Director Larry Hisle began by saying that 85 percent of federal employees are employed outside of the Washington, D.C., area. In the 1960s, the concept of the FEB was developed to help communication with the federal employees around the country and between the different federal agencies.
The federal government is the largest employer in the greater Kansas City area and, counting federal employees and contractors, includes more than 41,000 people, Hisle said.
The local FEB covers the Kansas City metropolitan area, including Fort Leavenworth, and is one of 28 FEBs in the country. The FEBs are directed by the Office of Personnel Management, which has oversight for FEB activities.
“It is really there to provide a forum in which federal leaders can collaborate to accomplish combined goals,” Hisle said. “Here in the Kansas City area, we have 160 different federal agencies that all report directly to D.C., so it is my job to get them to communicate and collaborate as much as possible.”
Hisle said the actual board is comprised of the most senior officials from each of the federal agencies.
The top employers in the area are the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of the Treasury. Hisle said a few agencies unique to the Kansas City area include the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s National Benefits Center, Card Processing Center and National Records Center.
“We are the new Ellis Island, if you will, for immigration in the United States,” Hisle said. “Every immigration application comes to Kansas City.”
Under providing security to the country, Hisle pointed out that in addition to Fort Leavenworth and Whiteman Air Force Base the area has Lake City Army Ammunition Plant and the National Nuclear Security Administration.
The FEB has three main lines of business or mission areas — emergency preparedness, security and employee safety; workforce development; and strategic partnerships.
Under emergency preparedness, Hisle said, the FEB helps the different agencies by collecting and sharing emergency information.
Hisle said that workforce development and support is where the FEB spends a lot of time trying to grow the workforce. In addition to leader development programs, retention assistance programs and conflict resolution training, the FEB also offers pre-retirement seminars and other financial management/awareness programs for the workforce.
Hisle said that offering the FEB programs in workforce development locally helps the government reduce expenditures and estimated that more than $2.2 million was saved in 2018.
For more information on the Greater Kansas City FEB, visit kansascity.feb.gov or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I can’t stress enough, I work for you.” Hisle said. “We are all working for the public to try to have a better nation, so anything I can do to assist in your mission, please let me know.
The next InterAgency Brown-Bag Lecture is 12:30-1:30 p.m. Dec. 10 and will feature the Defense Intelligence Agency with Roderic Jackson, the Defense Intelligence chair and Defense Intelligence Agency representative to the Combined Arms Center and Army University.