Spouse employment

Mirka Hizer leaves the Fort Campbell Spouse Employment Center, March 2, after visiting for employment advice. After spending years at home raising three children, Hizer is looking for a job and plans to attend the Spring Job Fair March 17-18 at Cole Park Commons.

After spending years at home raising three children, Mirka Hizer is looking for a job but still needs to draft a resume.

Hizer plans to join more than 1,000 other jobseekers 9 a.m.-3p.m. March 17 and 18 at the Soldier for Life Fort Campbell Spring Job Fair at Cole Park Commons, 1610 101st Airborne Division Road.

“For the past decade, I’ve been home with the kids and now my youngest is in the first grade,” she said. “Now that they’re all in school, I want to get back in the workplace.”

Hizer went to the Spouse Employment Center, 5668 Wickham Ave., March 3 to find out what steps she needs to take to get a job. She’s willing to work part-time or full-time, depending on the opportunities available.

“I’m interested in customer service, but I’m kind of open,” she said.

Corey Wingfield, Soldier for Life-Transition Assistance Program transition service specialist, expects at least 160 employers over the two days with 600 to 700 Soldiers, spouses and veterans attending each day. National and international employers will be featured March 17 and regional and local employers will be available to job-seekers March 18.

Although the job fair is hosted by SFL-TAP, employers at the event also are interested in hiring military spouses, Wingfield said.

Recently, Wingfield was approached by representatives from Walgreens interested in hiring Fort Campbell spouses.

“They are looking to hire a lot of people right here in Clarksville and Nashville,” he said.

Walgreens’ positions range from clerks to managers to pharmacists.

The spring job fair also is open to Family members as well as anyone who can enter Fort Campbell. Visitors to Fort Campbell who do not have a Department of Defense ID card must obtain a pass at Gate 7 or TC Freeman Gate visitors centers. Valid driver license, insurance and registration must be presented to obtain a visitor’s pass.

Wingfield said those planning to attend the spring job fair should come dressed for success and expect to speak with employers who may be conducting on-the-spot job interviews and reviewing resumes.

The spring job fair is part of SFL-TAP’s quarterly job fairs effort that also includes events in June, September and December. The March 17 and 18 job fair features a variety of companies with a wide array of career options – from aviation to janitorial, Wingfield said.

“It’s not all truck driving and law enforcement,” he said. “I generally don’t say no to anything industrial. As long as they have jobs, I want them here.”

Some spouses have already brushed up on their interview and resume skills during the February Empowering Women Summit in Oak Grove. That event was sponsored by USO Pathfinder, Wounded Warrior Project, Campbell Strong Workforce Partnership and Fort Campbell’s Spouse Employment Center.

During the summit a panel of women shared their experiences of being the spouse of a service member and offered advice unique to military spouses. Some attendees had their resumes critiqued by experts and others landed interviews.

Eric Horton, program manager for Campbell Strong, said he talked to about 40 spouses during the summit about how his organization could assist in the job search.

“There is a huge push right now to hire spouses in Veterans Affairs,” he said. “I’m just trying to be an access point.”

Although the spring job fair offers great opportunities, the Spouse Employment Center should be the first stop for spouses seeking employment, said Teresa English, Region 1 Career Skills Program coordinator. At the Spouse Employment Center the staff is available to assist job-seeking spouses in preparing for the upcoming job fair.

“I encourage them to come to the USO Pathfinder program [inside the Spouse Employment Center] for pre-job fair tips, resume assistance and interview prep with their scout,” English said.

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