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News > Idea program launches new contest
Idea program launches new contest

Posted 11/10/2011   Updated 11/10/2011 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Justin Weaver
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

11/10/2011 - AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy -- The chance to win an Ipod is just an idea away during the Aviano Innovative Development through Employee Awareness program contest running from now through Dec. 20.

"The IDEA Program is an incentive program that promotes process improvement and resource savings through ideas submitted by the people at the center of the work," said Katrina Thomas, Aviano's IDEA program manager. "These people see the everyday issues and know there's a better, faster or more efficient way to do the job but don't know how to get that word to the right people to make the changes. Even more so now, with the continued downsizing, we need people to be able to submit their ideas to leadership and this program offers them an easy avenue to do so."

All DoD military and civilian employees are eligible to participate in the the IDEA program and personnel can submit everything from changes to technical orders to the location for a new stop sign.

The IDEA program now uses a wed-based automated system accessible through the Air Force Portal, the IDEA Program Data System, making everything from submission to evaluation simple.

"It is an easy process," said Thomas. "The hardest part for most people is building up a strong package and being clear and specific in their justification. People who would like to submit an idea that will improve Air Force processes have to first identify what the current process is, how the process should be changed and what would be the overall benefit to the Air Force."

Once this has been completed in the web-based system, the base's IDEA program manager passes the idea to the base functional advisor in that area for evaluation. The functional advisor then determines if the idea should be denied, approved at the base level or, if it is something that could benefit the whole Air Force, pushed to a higher level. If the idea is approved at any level, the submitter could be awarded up to $200 for intangible savings or 15 percent of the tangible first year's savings to the Air Force, not to exceed $10,000.

Tech. Sgt. Rey Andrade, 31st Operations Support Squadron NCO in charge of aircrew flight equipment, was awarded $10,000 recently after solving a problem that cost the Air Force more than $158,000 annually.

"We have made so many improvements just from what people see needs to be fixed on a day-to-day basis in their regular duties," said Thomas. "This program is truly a benefit to the Air Force and its people."

For more information on the IDEA program, contact the IDEA program manager at DSN 632-4176. To submit an IDEA, visit the IPDS website at https://ipds.randolph.af.mil/ipds/landing_page.

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