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
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
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.