By Justin Creech, Belvoir EagleJune 5, 2014
Fort Belvoir, Va. (June 5, 2014) - Military spouses in the local community spoke with local companies about part-time job opportunities during the Fort Belvoir Army Community Service Employment Readiness Programs Job Fair for military spouses, May 28.
Spouses discussed part-time, contractual, on-call, seasonal and work-from-home positions with representatives from Fairfax County Public Schools, General Dynamics Information Technology, Kelly Services Inc., Simply Beautiful and U.S. Army Family Child Care.
"The purpose of the Job Fair was to provide military spouses with work opportunities that were alternatives to the full time, 9-5 jobs that the normal job fairs offer," said Laureen Dupree, Fort Belvoir Army Community Service Employment Readiness Program, manager. "The employers who attended were specifically looking for military spouses who want to keep their skills fresh, contribute to the household financially but still be present for their Families."
Dupree and several professional resume writers reviewed the spouses' resumes. An image consultant was also available.
"The image consultant talked to the spouses about how to individually update their professional look," said Dupree.
Providing military spouses with a fresh start with flexible work hours is why Jerri Carr, owner and founder of Simply Beautiful, makes them her first choice. Carr is a military spouse and knows the struggle of starting over after a permanent change of station move.
"I know what it's like to come to an installation not knowing anyone and trying to start over," said Carr. "That's why most of my staff is military spouses."
Valuable skills like dependability, responsibility and following directions is why Tonya Stamos, Lay-n-go Sales and Marketing representatives, wants to hire military spouses. Stamos, whose husband retired from the Navy, said military spouses have the same characteristics as their servicemember spouses.
"This is a great pool of talent to draw from," said Stamos. "They have to prove themselves every two years, and aren't always recognized for it. So, that resiliency is a great characteristic to bring into our company."
Simply Beautiful, which is in the Belvoir Exchange, has shifts from 8:45 a.m.-2 p.m. and 2-7 p.m. that spouses can work. Carr made it a point to have flexible hours so spouses don't have to completely rearrange their schedules.
"Most of us have children and we have to work around their hours," said Carr. "I make the schedule so if anyone needs time off they can do that."
Stamos is looking for someone to work the Kiosk Lay-n-go is opening at Potomac Mills Mall Thursday-Sunday this summer and into the fall. Since the company currently has 10 employees, it's an opportunity for a spouse to lay the foundation for permanent employment with a growing company.
"We are looking for someone to manage staff and inventory for the Kiosk," said Stamos. "We have less than 10 employees and we all wear lots of hats. So, if we find the right person we are willing to let them grow with us."
Spouses spoke with most of the employers and appreciated the opportunity to find employment.
Christina Young, Woodbridge resident, found her conversation with representatives from Kelly Services the most beneficial.
"I'm looking for a receptionist position and they are the only company looking for full-time employees," said Young.
Like Young, Kathleen Culver of Harryford Village found her best opportunity with Kelly Services. Culver is looking for receptionist and customer service positions.
"They have a wide variety of positions they help you find," said Culver, "So, I think they will work out the best."
The positive response is satisfying for Dupree since spouses finding employment is always the goal of the job fairs.
"The response to the job fair was extremely positive," said Dupree. "Spouses with young children especially appreciated the job opportunities where they wouldn't have to pay childcare in order to work."