Commentary | Sept. 16, 2020

Share Your COVID-19 lessons learned and best practices with CG leadership

By Shana Brouder, MyCG Writer

Until just a few months ago, leaving the house for work was the norm, and teleworking was something we wanted to do more often. Now, many of us are working almost exclusively from home. 

But Coast Guard members at Sector Miami needed to continue interacting with their outside stakeholders. To do so they developed and are now offering workshops like “How to Pass your Uninspected Passenger Vessel (UPV) Examination” and “Passenger for Hire” through Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR)/MS Teams.

“I like this idea because [Sector Miami] took the initiative to ensure mission continuity,” explained Cmdr. Pedro Vazquez, the U.S. Coast Guard Innovation Manager with the Office of Research, Development, Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) and Innovation. “They saw the need to continue outreach and were able to continue doing that virtually.”  

It is ideas like this that have helped the Coast Guard stay on course during the challenges presented by COVID-19 – and the Coast Guard wants to hear all of them! Specifically, the Offices of RDT&E and Innovation, the Office of Emergency Management & Disaster Response (CG-OEM), and the COVID-19 Crisis Action Team (CCAT) are asking the workforce to submit creative solutions to COVID-19 challenges through CG-Ideas@Work.

CG_Ideas@Work is a crowdsourcing platform where Coast Guard members, civilians, reservists, and auxiliarists can propose new innovative ideas. Run by the Acquisition Directorate, CG_Ideas@Work is a major source of inspiration for RDT&E and Innovation – the office responsible for capturing new ideas in the Coast Guard.

“What’s really powerful about the site is that you submit an idea, then others can comment and share their insights, which can lead to further development of the original idea,” Vazquez said. 

According to Vazquez’s latest count, 45 COVID-19 challenge-related ideas or recommendations have been submitted to CG_Ideas@Work. Among the ideas are suggestions about childcare options for those returning to work and issuing mobile devices to everyone for more reliable mobile access. 

Are you up for the challenge? Do you have an idea that you think would help your fellow Coast Guard members during this global pandemic? Submit your ideas – your answers – to challenging questions and situations that COVID-19 presents to your work at Coast Guard to CG-Ideas@Work today. Submit by clicking on the CG_Ideas@Work icon on your desktop or visit https://cg-ideasatwork.ideascalegov.com

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Ideas at Work: Unlocking the Power of Ideas
Adapting to challenges posed by COVID-19, Sector Miami leveraged Commercial Virtual Remote (CVR) MS Teams to continue offering online training workshops and owner/operator small group discussions to engage law enforcement personnel and ensure continued engagement with the public. “How to Pass your Uninspected Passenger Vessel (UPV) Examination” and “Passenger for Hire” were two main offerings.