As a program analyst for the Office of Training and Workforce Engagement (OTWE), Erica Reaves-Williams is the IdeaFactory’s project lead. IdeaFactory empowers TSA employees to submit ideas, provide comments on how to improve new concepts, and rate ideas that should be recommended for implementation. She ensures subject matter experts review the ideas and either moves forward with implementation, or provides responses to inform the workforce if TSA is already pursuing the idea – or why the agency is unable to implement certain ideas. When a program office launches an IdeaFactory Challenge, Reaves-Williams helps ensure a winning idea is selected. She also helps identify trends in ideas.
Reaves-Williams joined TSA in October 2002 as a Lead Transportation Security Screener at New York’s LaGuardia Airport before transferring to Reagan National Airport as a Supervisory Transportation Security Officer. In 2009, she transitioned to TSA headquarters where she continues to work with a team that manages the IdeaFactory, StoryLine, and Historian Project in the Workforce Engagement Learning Lab, which is part of the Workforce Engagement Branch within OTWE.
What I do matters because TSA frontline employees need a voice at headquarters, and I am that voice. I feel the same passion and dedication as those who submit ideas and post helpful feedback. Working on the frontline for 7 years – including checkpoint, baggage operations, and communications – allows me to use that hands-on experience and knowledge as a basis for my efforts when pushing ideas forward for review and implementation.
What do you find most rewarding about your work at TSA? Continuing to support inclusive innovation across TSA through the IdeaFactory and providing opportunities for employees to share their vision and ideas on ways to make TSA a better place to work is extremely rewarding. For example, as part of TSA’s ongoing efforts to engage employees about risk-based security (RBS), IdeaFactory hosted a challenge sponsored by the RBS office last year about ideas on how to ensure the long-term success of the TSA Pre✓™ initiative. After the IdeaFactory group reviewed each submission, the RBS team implemented 9 ideas – the most ever in IdeaFactory’s more than 5-year history. I also find it fulfilling to drive those types of ideas forward and share what I know with frontline employees or inspiring a person.
From the Office of Strategic Communications/Public Affairs