Screaming Eagle Soldiers and Army spouses speak to potential employers May 6 during the Open Air Hiring Fair at the Spouse Employment Center.
Screaming Eagle Soldiers and Army spouses speak to potential employers May 6 during the Open Air Hiring Fair at the Spouse Employment Center. (Photo Credit: Sirena Clark) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Salary negotiations, interview skills and the federal hiring process skim the surface of topics that will be discussed during the Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses, or TEAMS, program May 25-27 at the Fort Campbell Spouse Employment Center, 5662 Screaming Eagle Blvd.

The new pilot program, established by the Department of Labor, or DOL, is the culmination of research conducted by Veterans’ Employment and Training Services, or VETS, that included collaborations with Military OneSource, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, DOL Women’s Bureau, more than 700 military spouse surveys and meetings with military spouse advocacy groups.

Anne Fugate, Fort Campbell’s Transition Services Program manager, looks forward to seeing the five newest TEAMS workshops and hearing the feedback from spouses.

“We’re excited to host this pilot,” Fugate said. “We believe participants will get a lot from these classes and we know, based on their experiences, they will provide good feedback that DOL can use to refine the classes further. Ultimately, we’re hoping that TEAMS classes will be available in-person beyond this pilot.”

Hosting the classes in-person is a factor that sets Fort Campbell apart from other installations that have continued to give instruction virtually and part of why the post was selected to deliver the pilot program. In addition to offering face-to-face classes, Fort Campbell has a large community of military spouses, an element that contributed to the decision to bring the program here, said Timothy Winters, director of Transition Assistance Programs, DOL.

The workshops developed for this pilot serve to further the TEAMS mission, “to empower military spouses with an employment and education portfolio to address military spouses’ specific transition needs” by addressing challenges that are unique to military spouses as identified in research done by VETS, Winters said.

Through extensive research, VETS discovered several key themes impacting military spouse employment barriers while developing the program, according to DOL. Those barriers included licensure and credential portability, the impact of frequent moves on work history and a negative perception of employers on frequent moves being disruptive to their business. The TEAMS workshops were developed to address these issues, and others, from the perspective of the military spouse.

Fugate said having seen the high quality of the DOL course material and facilitation for Soldiers in the Transition Assistance Program, she welcomes the same level of materials being made available to spouses at Fort Campbell.

The classes are designed to meet the learner where they are at, she said. Whether participants come with a wealth of experience or knowledge in a certain skillset or none at all, the classes can add to everyone’s existing level of experience within each topic, Fugate said. This is helpful for people who may be shy to inquire about subjects they feel less confident about, such as interview skills or salary negotiation.

The existence of these classes and the potential for them to become a permanent fixture at the Spouse Employment Center is a step forward in making more services available to military spouses, she said.

“We’d love to be able to offer these kinds of resources and classes through our center on a regular basis,” Fugate said.

To register, call 270-798-0249 or 270-412-1720, or email holly.r.nusom.civ@mail.mil. Spouses may sign up for any number of workshops. Registration is required and seating is limited to 10 participants per class.