Forum highlights spouse employment, higher education Published Aug. 3, 2023 By Marisa Alia-Novobilski Air Force Materiel Command WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- 1:00:01 VIDEO | 1:00:01 | AFMC Spouse and Family Forum: Employment and Higher Education Opportunities Hosted by Gen. Duke Z. Richardson, AFMC Commander, and his spouse Dede, the event was part of the AFMC Family Connection initiative which aims to better link family members with information, resources, and support in all life areas. “It's been said a lot of times that we recruit the [service] member, but we retain the family, and there's a lot of truth to that. When the family's happy, the ability to continue serving is greatly enhanced,” said Gen. Richardson during opening remarks. “Your input is valuable. We know that spouse employment and education is one of our top priorities and one of the top issues that our families are facing,” continued DeDe Richardson. “There's a lot of information out there-- lots of programs and initiatives, even throughout your installations. But we need to help navigating that. So that's what today is about.” Hanscom Air Force Base held a viewing party for the AFMC Spouse and Family Forum, Aug. 2. The virtual event highlighted career and educational resources for spouses and family members across the enterprise. Photo Details / Download Hi-Res “As a former military spouse and now civilian, I’ve moved 17 times in 25 years, so I understand the challenges that affect both groups [military and civilian spouses] in starting and maintaining employment,” said Jennifer Humphreys, part of the AFMC Human Resources team. “At AFMC, we are working to provide resources to support anyone relocating to an AFMC installation and will try to work like a ‘matchmaker’ between hiring managers who have vacancies and spouses who are looking for new jobs.” Humphreys discussed federal job eligibility, military spouse job preference, and new and emerging flexibilities related to employee schedules, telework and remote work. She also emphasized the AFMC focus on taking care of family members and the efforts underway to better support career growth and opportunity. Following Humphreys, Monique Allshouse, chief, AFMC Workforce Development Branch, and also a former military spouse, spoke about education and challenges faced by individuals asking themselves, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” Hanscom Air Force Base held a viewing party for the AFMC Spouse and Family Forum, Aug. 2. The virtual event highlighted career and educational resources for spouses and family members across the enterprise. Photo Details / Download Hi-Res Allshouse highlighted career aptitude assessments and scholarship resources, emphasizing the importance of sharing the unique circumstances and challenges brought on by military family life in essay applications, which might help a candidate receive funds over another applicant. “I would encourage everyone to reach out to the servicing education offices to learn a little bit more about what occurs in your area and what assistance they have,” she said. Employment readiness, career exploration, and military spouse training programs were addressed by Linda Logan, a program manager at the Air Force Personnel Center, which oversees the Military Family Readiness Centers across the Air Force. She explained the support role that MFRCs play in assisting individuals in developing employment readiness skills, career exploration, goal setting, and connections to career employment resources. She also highlighted the connections MFRCs have with the Department of Labor and other local career centers that can assist family members on the employment journey. “The second part of what we do is referral and support to throughout the DoD [Department of Defense] platform and portfolio, and through partnerships with the Department of Labor, we've got the career one-stop centers that are for both military as well as civilian spouses. They provide great support and resources,” said Logan. “There’s something for everybody out there.” Danna Plewe, program manager for the Air Force Employee Assistance Program, discussed career and job assistance resources available to civilian family members through the EAP platform. These include job coaching, identification of certification requirements, and financial consultations that can assist in planning education or career endeavors. “We provide resources and support for our civilian workforce, their family members, spouses and any household members or partners. This support is similar to that provided by Military OneSource for military family members,” said Plewe. The event concluded with a brief question and answer session driven by the audience, along with shared information on the USAF Connect Mobile Application, which contains a listing of the resources discussed during the event. To view the virtual event, visit . The following is a list of resources mentioned during the livestream event: Five and Thrive USAF Connect Mobile App Air Force Employee Assistance Program USAJobs Military OneSource Nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator AFAS.org/haparnoldgrant Petersons.com Careerpathdecide.org Careeronestop.org Military Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (MySECO) My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) Military Spouse Licensure Reimbursement Small Business Administration: Military Spouse Pathway to Business Military Spouse Career Accelerator Pilot The next Spouse and Family Forum will be held in Nov. 2023.