By Alia Naffouj, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public AffairsSeptember 16, 2016
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (Sept. 16, 2016) -- Army Community Services held a spouses and family member employment training symposium and informational job fair Sept. 13 at the Camp Zama Community Club.
Angela LeMaster, ACS financial and employment readiness program manager, said the event was created partially in response to ACS's recent Community Strengths and Themes assessment.
"Our community voiced that there is a lack of career and employment opportunities," said LeMaster.
The first portion of the seminar was a myth buster session and dispelled some common myths about getting employment with the federal government.
Myths such as: "My self-assessment score alone will get my resume forward"-- which is not true, and "I must answer that I am an 'expert' in order to be referred" -- which is also not true.
Melvin Jackson, participant who recently arrived to Camp Zama, said there are so many assumptions out there.
"We just need to hear what's real," said Jackson.
A few "hot topics" emphasized during the symposium:
- Including status documentation with a federal employment application.
- Off-base employment is possible through an approval process.
- Write your resume to meet federal employment requirements.
After a short break, attendees returned to a panel of subject matter experts.
Members from the Department of Defense Education Activity, Non-Appropriated Funds Human Resources Office, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, and the legal office were available to answer questions.
"It's so important to get out and speak with the spouses and family member(s)," said Katie Young, CPAC lead human resource specialist.
She said it is important to clarify all of the questions community members may have and get them the right information.
The afternoon transitioned attendees into a job fair where they learned how to find jobs in the Camp Zama community.
They received information from various organizations including the Japan Engineering Division; Child, Youth and School Services; Goover English School and more.
Lastly, the symposium focused on interview techniques.
LeMaster said she hopes people walk away with a better understanding of the hiring process.
"A toolbox filled with tips and resources as they seek employment," she said.
Attendees were giving an informational folder which included information on the interview process, Overseas Military Spouse Preference (MSP), Excepted Service Overseas Family Member Appointment (FMNP), and a jobseeker's guide for military and spouses.
"One thing I have learned over everything," said Jackson, "come to the classes; come talk to people; go get the real answers."