Alumnus Moving up Ranks at Defense Supply Center

I like coming to work every day and talking to my customers to meet their needs. It takes all of us as a team to provide what our troops need for them to successfully protect our country.

Chris Farrington, ’06, has a lot of responsibility at 25 years old.

"Since I've been here, I've learned to work with numerous military customers that are under pressure to meet a deadline," said Farrington. "Communication is important because most of the parts and machines they request are needed quickly."

Chris Farrington, right, is an equipment specialist in the Industrial Plant Equipment Services Division in Aviation Supplier Operations. Farrington was a co-op student in the Student Career Enhancement Program while a student at Penn College. Farron McMillian, left, is also an equipment specialist and has been a mentor to Farrington. Photo by Tonya Johnson

Farrington, who started working at Defense Supply Center Richmond July 9, 2007, is an equipment specialist in the Industrial Plant Equipment Services Division in Aviation Engineering. He was promoted to a GS-11 position July 11.

"When procuring new tools and parts, I write the technical specifications and review it with the customer to make sure it's what they want," Farrington said. "We review the features of the item, cost, and who is going to install it. Site visits may also be involved. My job ensures that customers get the right product for the right dollar amount. My goal is to help customers save money and make sure contractors meet the technical requirements."

One of his customers is Red River Army Depot in Texarkana, Texas. He is working to procure a computer numerical controlled plasma cutting machine to help with the cutting of armor plate material on Humvees.

Farrington, a native of Lamar, is not a stranger to DSCR or Defense Logistics Agency. He was a co-op student in the Student Career Enhancement Program at DSCR's Industrial Plant Equipment Division depot in Mechanicsburg. During the fall of 2005 and summer of 2006, he was a mechanic helper. Farrington worked with mechanics to rebuild and repair machine tools. He worked for a month as a full-time DLA employee in January 2007 as a mechanic helper before leaving for another job in Connecticut.

Joe Davenport, IPE division chief, called him and asked him to consider applying for an equipment specialist position in Richmond.

"He's done an exceptional job in his current position," said Davenport. "He's carrying a workload that is unbelievable. He's up and coming and will be going places within DSCR and DLA."

Farrington said he regretted having left DLA briefly, and he is glad to come back to the agency. He credits the co-op program with helping him apply what he learned in college.

"The co-op program gave me exposure to the field I was studying," said Farrington. "I was able to apply what I learned and gain experience at the same time. I left the program because I didn't think I would move up the ranks quickly, but I realized that the job in Connecticut wasn't a good fit for me."

Farrington graduated in December 2006 with a bachelor of science degree in manufacturing engineering technology from Pennsylvania College of Technology. He found out about the co-op program when Bruce "Dutch" Davie, depot plant manager, visited the school during a career fair looking for students to participate in the program.

In the program, students work with experienced journeymen as apprentices to learn the different functions and jobs there. Students who satisfactorily complete the program receive a journeyman certification through the Department of Labor, Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, and are offered a full-time job once they graduate.

"When he (Davie) told me about the government benefits and pay, plus the opportunity to gain experience, I knew I wanted to do this," said Farrington. “This also helped me fulfill my senior project requirement."

Being in Richmond is different from being at the depot in Mechanicsburg.

"I like what we do at the depot, but I also wanted to learn the business side of it, which is done in Richmond," Farrington said. "What we do ultimately helps the war fighter, and although I have never served in the military, I felt this is a way for me to help them."

Farrington said that he enjoys living in Richmond.

"It's warmer here than in Connecticut, and there are a lot of things to do," he said. "The beach and mountains are also close by."

In the future, Farrington said he hopes to move into management ranks. He plans to have a long career with DLA.

"I like coming to work every day and talking to my customers to meet their needs," said Farrington. "It takes all of us as a team to provide what our troops need for them to successfully protect our country."

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