• Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2020, 4:42 pm

As CNS’s newest and seventh affinity group, the Network of Black Leaders for Excellence, or NOBLE, kicked off with an in person “Survivor” lunch and learn for CNS employees this fall. As part of the drive to improve diversity and inclusion within our workforce, employees fostered professional networking opportunities while learning how to become better work stewards and interact on relevant inclusion topics.

“We chartered NOBLE to serve as a catalyst to provide professional development that will ultimately improve the skillset and culture of the Y-12 workforce,” said Y-12 scientist Maxx Jackson, who co-founded NOBLE.

With the lunch and learn session serving as an open discussion and network opportunity for CNS employees to learn more about each other beyond first impressions, employees gained insight and provided valuable feedback on how individual backgrounds and experiences make us stronger as a community and workforce.

“It was fascinating to see what other people valued in terms of position, background, family status, and how that drove their decision making and thought processes. It was an incredible lesson in understanding that we can look similar, but think differently, or look very different, but think the same,” said Julie Huff of Y-12 Mission Engineering, who participated in September’s lunch and learn. “It challenged our perceptions, broadened our perspective of what makes us individuals and what draws us together, and how by understanding one another better, we can work together better.”

In addition to the lunch and learn, employees can join and assist NOBLE by contributing in various organizational efforts, which include mentoring, coaching, career development, and community engagement opportunities.

“NOBLE impacts all CNS employees, especially African American employees, by leveraging the perspectives and talents of all CNS employees,” Jackson said. “Our focus is on increasing Black employee participation and contribution to improve leadership opportunities and allow for greater leadership contributions throughout the company.”

Through executing this vision, NOBLE aims to serve as a resource for Black employees transitioning from a collegiate to a professional setting by providing a network for current Black employees to promote career development and excellence. This includes participation in community engagements to increase company presence through recruitment and volunteer efforts.

“The future of NNOBLE is encompassed by interactive and relevant activities,” Jackson said. “Whether it’s technical lecture series, human resources partnered training, or community outreach, we are always looking to engage and support the professional goals of all CNS employees.”