The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and Blue Star Families Military Spouse Symposium & Career Fair last Thursday in San Diego, California, drew a huge crowd eager for information, opportunities and employment. Dubbed “Keeping a Career on the Move,” the event brought local companies, virtual organizations, non-profits, and job seekers together for a one-day event to promote job opportunities for San Diego-area military spouses.
“The military spouses at this event were hungry for information on how to get hired, navigate questions about military life with an employer, and break through the glass ceiling of underemployment that is rampant among this talented community,” said Monique Rizer, deputy director of spouse programs for the Military Officers Association of America and the annual spouse symposium producer.
An employer panel featuring Facebook, the Society for Human Resource Management, CSC and the United Way was the highlight of the day. “Employers not only provided practical information, but really motivated the attendees to focus on their strengths, work ethic, and value they bring no matter how many jobs or how many moves they’ve had,” Rizer said. “It was an inspiring day.”
Sponsored by TriWest Healthcare Alliance and supported by Joining Forces, the symposium included a workshop on finding one’s strengths and a career fair featuring more than 50 local employers, many who were Military Spouse Employment Partners.
“I was struck by how well the employers at the symposium related to the issues that military spouses face in their transient lifestyles as they support the active duty member,” said Josi Hunt, wife of Vice Admiral Richard Hunt, Commander, Naval Surface Forces. “The power of this gathering was the insight passed to spouses, as to how they can go about marketing their own skills for today's job force. Military spouses are rich additions to any community, each with diverse employment and educational backgrounds. The information gathered will be a great addition to their lifestyles and will make our military families stronger.”
“The collaboration between public, private and nonprofit provided a balanced and powerful resource for military spouses,” said Stephanie Himel-Nelson, communications director for Blue Star Families.
All told, a great day in San Diego – and there's a lot more to follow in 2012 on military spouse employment!