Team Members Support Local Career Fair at James Wood High School

Middle East District
Published Nov. 17, 2011
Fire Protection/Chemical Engineer Rick Dipert addresses the many types of professionals at MED. (Photo by Kristin Hoelen)

WINCHESTER, Va. – Middle East District participated in a career day event, held Nov. 16, at James Wood High School. Two District team members were among the 37 invited speakers and presenters from both private industry and government organizations.

Richard Dipert, a fire protection/chemical engineer, spoke to students about what he calls “the best profession in the world.” He talked about the choices that led him to this profession and discussed the outlook for students choosing to study engineering today. He answered questions on becoming an engineer, including the types of high school and college courses required.

“Math and Science are important,” Dipert said, “but communications and team skills are essential for any engineer to master in order to be successful.”

Blake Burd, an information technology specialist, told students that he was looking for opportunity and potential for advancement when he left his dead-end work. “I found it in IT,” he said. Now, he has 12 years experience with the Department of Defense, as both a contractor and government employee.

“IT was and continues to be the road of the future,” Burd said. “But realize this: Follow your heart. The best examples I have seen are industry leaders who followed their hearts and their instincts. You will be most successful doing what you enjoy. So do what you enjoy, something that comes natural to you, and have a great time doing it! Your success can know no bounds.”

The District participates in career days and other community-relations events whenever the official mission allows. Every employee is encouraged to support the events that meet federal guidelines, as a means of promoting our team members, programs and policies. These outreach efforts promote transparency in government operations and heighten the public’s understanding of the Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Army, while increasing awareness of the value of public service.

The Middle East District, headquartered in Winchester, is responsible for providing engineering, construction and related services in the Middle East, Central Asia and other areas as required. The District’s work includes designing and constructing facilities for use by U.S. forces, performing engineering activities for other U.S. government and foreign agencies, and providing operations and maintenance services for various customers. The District also provides project management, engineering, contracting and support services to Corps of Engineer districts in Afghanistan.