Family Matters Blog: New Spouse Employment Programs Unveiled at Career Fair
By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2012 Last week, I joined more than 1,000 career-seeking military spouses at the Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Career Forum in downtown Washington, D.C.
Laura Dempsey, senior advisor of military spouse employment for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, thanked the more than 1,000 military spouses and 100 employers who attended the Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Career Forum, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., Jan. 13, 2012. DOD photo by Elaine Sanchez
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
With more than 100 military-friendly employers on hand, the fair, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program, offered D.C.-area spouses a wealth of career opportunities, as well an opportunity to hone their resume and interview skills.
The chamber has plans to host 100 veteran and spouse career fairs across the nation in a year, but this was the first dedicated solely to military spouses.
“Your presence here in such huge numbers sends a powerful message to the country of the value of its military spouses,” said Laura Dempsey, senior advisor of military spouse employment for the chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes program and a 14-year military spouse.
While the fair was geared for local spouses, several organizations unveiled new employment programs and products aimed at helping spouses worldwide.
Dempsey announced the chamber’s new Military Spouse Business Alliance, composed of nonprofit, government and corporate partners dedicated to lifting military spouses out of unemployment and underemployment.
The alliance has a host of efforts planned in the coming months, she said, including up to 20 more military spouse-dedicated career forums and hiring fairs across the nation and overseas this year.
The alliance also has launched the MilSpouse eMentor leadership program, a joint effort by the chamber and the nonprofit organization AcademyWomen, Dempsey said. This online mentoring program – located at www.eMentorProgram.org/p/MilSpouse -- offers spouses an opportunity to connect with experienced military spouses and military spouse-friendly employers worldwide.
Blue Star Families unveiled a new product to help military spouses translate volunteer experience into resume fodder. This new guide takes volunteer positions, such as a family readiness group leader, and explains how to create resume bullets such as “managed a group of 30 volunteers and planned large-scale events.”
“We want to make sure spouses are highlighting in their resumes the experience they’ve gained through volunteering,” explained Vivian Greentree of Blue Star Families. Spouses often don’t realize the valuable job skills they’re demonstrating as volunteers, such as leadership and organization skills.
Spouses can find out more on this guide on the Blue Star Families website.
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