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PDC opens doors to Airmen, families

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. -- The Professional Development Center, a new facility here aiming to uniquely combine services to better meet the needs of its customers, is scheduled to hold its ribbon-cutting ceremony today. 

Jack Bianco, flight chief of the Airmen and Family Readiness Center, said D-M's PDC is the first to have the AFRC housed within it. 

"We had the unique situation of the availability of a huge building in the old BX," he said. "We had been pushing for a new facility, and it came together." 

One of the immediate benefits of the new PDC is classroom availability. Pima Community College, Park University, Troy State University, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University all offer courses on base at the PDC. "Before, we had to find places to hold classes at different locations all over the base - the Officers Club, Enlisted Club, MPF. Now, we have plenty of room right here in the building," Mr. Bianco said. 

He added that the base library is also projected to move to the PDC in the future to further enhance PDC services. Master Sgt. Mike Starkey, superintendent of the AFRC, explained the many benefits for Airmen and their families in the new center. 

"Now when customers come in, they see a first-class facility for first-class people. The upgrade in the looks and atmosphere makes them feel a part of something better." 

The base career advisor, Senior Master Sgt. Crystle Flowers, said, "(the PDC) is a one-stop shop and a wonderful place for Airmen to get the information and services they need - all under one roof." 

Mr. Bianco agrees. "It is a much nicer facility. I have heard comments from Airmen and
their families,'Wow! This is nice. What a great addition. People really care about us.'" 

He added that the new Discovery Resource Center serves as an entryway, greeting area
and multi-faceted resource for customers. 

They can research information on relocation, finances and scholarships, work on resumes, or use the computer resource center and Internet quality-of-life network there. 

The DRC was designed mostly to help people who arrive early for appointments. "It allows people to help themselves and frees up staff members to help Airmen and families that need greater, in-depth assistance," Sergeant Starkey explained. 

He added that the Family Services area has also been improved. In the old facility, loan closet items were stored throughout the building. 

Therefore, the volunteers had to go get them and carry them back all the way across the building whenever someone needed to borrow them. Now, the loan locker has rolling racks and everything that they have available for loan is in the immediate Family Services area. 

Teresa Carelock, a family services volunteer, said it is a lot more convenient and makes it easier for her and fellow volunteers to serve families. 

Sergeant Starkey said the new building was made possible by "constant communication between (our) flight and the project officers in civil engineering. We were able to complete
the move into the new facility with only a day and a half temporary reduction in services.
Otherwise, it was seamless to the customer." 

The PDC is located across from the bowling alley, between the AAFES Base Exchange and the 355th Wing headquarters building. For more information, call 228-5690.