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Hiring Our Heroes

Spouse career event coming to JBLM

Northwest Guardian

Published: 12:56PM February 9th, 2017

Military spouses interested in exploring career options can plan to attend a two-day career event aimed at specifically helping them Wednesday and Thursday at American Lake Conference Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Hiring our Heroes and the U.S Chamber of Commerce are working together to provide this career stepping stone — the JBLM Military Spouse Career Event. It will consist of a networking event on the first day and a more traditional job fair the following day. Officials are expecting more than 50 companies to recruit at the event, including Pacific Northwest titans like Amazon and Comcast.

“Employers recognize the talent pool that comes from military spouses,” said Kimberly D. Fallen, the employment readiness manager for JBLM’s Armed Forces Community Service. “We had no problems filling out tables at this event. Companies are jumping at the chance to (interview) all these talented spouses on base.”

For those interested in

attending the networking

event Wednesday, make sure to bring a resume and dress to impress.

There will be representatives from various organizations interested in getting to know those in attendance. Spouses will also have a chance to have their resume reviewed and have professional head shots taken.

The second day is the actual job fair, and job-seekers should do as much prep work as they can. There will be a vast array of tables at the career event, and it’s important to research organizations you’re really interested in, Fallen said.

She is also optimistic that this event can help address some of the dispirited employment statistics amongst military spouses.

“Twenty-six percent of military spouses are unemployed, and many of those (who) are employed are actually underemployed,” Fallen said.

There are also 40 percent of military spouses that have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, Fallen said. Still, they make 38 percent less when compared to their civilian counterparts, she added.

One of the main reasons employers are flocking to this career event is that they understand the value a military spouse can bring to their organization, according to Fallen.

“Military spouses have a resiliency to them,” Fallen said. “They are well-traveled, smart and come from a broad range of backgrounds. This event is a great way for the spouses to show how amazing they are. They will be able to meet with people in their field and potentially find the job (they’ve) always wanted.”