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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 079-97
February 19, 1997

DOD ANNOUNCES SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT AWARDS

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Personnel Support, Families and Education Carolyn H. Becraft presented awards today for the Spouse Employment Demonstration Project. Ten installations were selected to receive a total of over $210,000 a year in Demonstration Project funds over a three-year period.

The Spouse Employment Demonstration Project is a one-time incentive awards program designed to provide funding for innovative installation employment initiatives. The Demonstration Project resulted from a Quality of Life Task Force study which found that the lack of employment opportunities is an economic and morale issue for members and families.

Thirty-four DoD installations submitted proposals for competitive evaluation by their respective military departments. Service assessments considered local employment needs, support for program goals, level of collaboration with other installation and community programs, outreach strategies, cost and performance measures. Participation was limited to installations with a family center, because the Department's spouse employment assistance programs are administered through its family centers.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Karen Heath and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Force Management and Personnel Ruby DeMesme assisted Becraft in presenting the awards. Selected installations will be represented by their commanders.

An abstract of the selected projects follows.

Spouse Employment Demonstration Project Award Recipients

Andrews AFB Andrews, Md: The Military Spouse Training Initiative (MISTI) will provide customized training and accessible, affordable child care to spouses at numerous sites on- base. The project will encourage volunteerism as a means of acquiring verifiable work experience, self-confidence and a professional attitude.

Cannon AFB, N.M., Job Track focuses on training spouses to qualify for the preponderantly clerical and health-related job opportunities in the Clovis-Fortales, N.M., area. Sixty local spouse will be trained in advanced computer word processing applications and receive college credits for the courses they complete. Forty spouses will pursue an intensive course of training designed to prepare them for the test required of certified nursing assistants in N.M.

Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan, Project Haigusha will use computer-based training to help spouses enhance marketable skills and increase competitiveness in a wider variety of jobs. Training will be targeted towards the unique challenges of the local job market: severe linguistic and cultural barriers to off- base employment, non-existent state and local employment assistance agencies, and low education levels among junior enlisted spouses.

Lajes Air Base, Azores., Recognizing the isolation and lack of employment opportunities for local spouses, the Spouse Training and Employment Program will focus on preparing participants for the opportunities at their sponsor's next assignment. Training will emphasize updating skills and knowledge of job markets in the U.S. and overseas. Proponents project 75 percent of participating spouses will successfully assess the labor market in their new location, line up interviews and depart Lajes job ready.

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., The Training and Employment Assistance for Military Spouses project will serve family members from three local installations: Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, MCRD Parris Island and the Naval Hospital and Dental Clinic. TEAMS focuses on spouses with the least marketable skills and addresses barriers of transportation and child care commonly cited by spouses as interfering with the pursuit of education and skills training. The project will feature individualized career counseling, training, referrals and a close mentoring relationship between project staff and clients.

Naval Air Station Brunswick, Maine, NAS Brunswick's Job Source Home Page will create an Internet database of employment opportunities for spouses. The project will increase the computer skills of installation spouses while assisting them in finding jobs at pay levels commensurate to their expertise. It will also increase the access of local employers to a high quality, responsible, flexible and motivated labor resource.

Naval Construction Center, Port Hueneme, Calif., The Port Hueneme Independent Study Program will pursue a dual track approach, simultaneously focusing on improving spouse communications skills in English and Spanish and providing computer applications training and certification. The project's emphasis on bilingualism reflects local conditions. Daytime, evening and weekend classes will allow spouses to adjust training schedules to individual needs.

Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, Conn., Special Opportunities for Underemployed Spouses is a facilitated self- help program encompassing training and peer support, and intensive networking with local employers and community agencies. The program will target discouraged unemployed and underemployed, white collar male spouses.

Nellis AFB, Nev., The Saturday Job Market will teach spouses marketable computer skills and effective job search techniques on six consecutive Saturday training sessions. Three quarterly follow-up classes will provide participants feedback, assessment and peer support.

Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Becoming Your Own Boss will identify entrepreneurial opportunities for spouses and help them develop the skills needed to succeed as a small business owner. Recognizing the impact of frequent relocation on spouse employment, the project will emphasize portability and close collaboration between spouses and their communities.

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