Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Fort Leavenworth is working to help incoming spouses find work before they arrive by partnering with KansasWorks and Military OneSource.
“The resources are out there, it is just about connecting the spouses with those resources,” said Mike Fuller, Garrison Human Resources director. “If we start working with them as early as possible, 90 to 120 days prior to arrival, then hopefully they can move into a job shortly after they arrive.
“Right now, we’re putting together a team,” he said. “KansasWorks has provided us with a full-time employee, five days a week, that is going to be embedded with (Army Community Service). …Their main focus will be spouse employment.”
The new employee, expected to arrive by the end of March, will join Dwayne Pratt, Disabled Veterans Outreach Program veterans employment representative, who works with the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program to help veterans and family members find employment.
“Dwayne can assist with spouse employment as well,” Fuller said.
Military OneSource will also have someone in the office once a week.
For more information about the new ACS resources, call 684-4357.
Spouses who have professional licenses can begin the state process before arrival by visiting militaryonesource.mil.
“The state licensing and career credentials initiative is designed to help make it easier for military spouses to transition their credentials to a new state,” according to militaryonesource.mil. “Whether you’re already a licensed or certified professional, or planning to become one, the process will now be easier for service members and their spouses when relocating.”
There is also a survey for incoming spouses to fill out that will further help them get in contact with potential employers. The survey was created by Ashley Lunde, Hiring Our Heroes volunteer, associated with Military Spouses Professional Network and chair of the Leavenworth Military Spouses Economic Empowerment Zones.
“I have a background in workforce development and have experienced firsthand the challenges of finding employment at a new duty station. I saw this as a great opportunity to put my experience to practice with a population that I know is underserved in terms of employment and available opportunities,” Lunde said. “I’m hoping that the data that the survey gathers will give a clear idea of what types of skillsets are coming to and already exist at the installation.
“Leavenworth is such a unique installation with a makeup of service members and their spouses being diverse in skillsets and educational attainment,” she said. “If we can provide employers and other community partners with a snapshot of talent they are missing out on, then there may be easier ways to make end roads that will lead to an increase of spouse employment.”
To complete the survey, visit https://forms.gle/avtuovMKymTUsJRb9.
The survey asks various questions including preferred job fields, educational background and child care needs.
“Child care is the No. 1 issue for spouses with employment,” Fuller said.
If child care is needed, full-day care, hourly care, part-day care, after-school care and part-day preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds is available. To register, visit the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fort Leavenworth Child and Youth Services website at https://leavenworth.armymwr. com/programs/parent-and-outreach-services?fbclid= IwAR0rmwRv5T9SI3c3jsnvBsCOjMtjxirDr4nZMUUeTyWZNCXcR8gn0hDCh9M.
“Once you start there, it will take you to the thing that you need most, which is to make sure that you are registered in militarychildcare.com,” said Glenn Hewitt, FMWR director, during the live Garrison Facebook Town Hall for inbound Command and General Staff College students March 4. “It does not guarantee you a spot, but it does place you on the waitlist, and you can do that now.”
Secondly, Hewitt said it is important to make sure children are currently registered with CYS Parent Central. If they are not currently registered, visit https://webtrac.mwr.army.mil/.
“That’s where you can do everything online before you get here,” Hewitt said. “Once you do that, make sure you have all the proper forms needed and your local CYS Parent Central will help you with that.”
Any forms older than a year are considered out-of-date, Hewitt said.
“When you arrive (on Fort Leavenworth), if you have all that stuff done, you still need to make an appointment with our Parent Central, but your appointment will be very short because we already have everything that you need,” Hewitt said.
Carole Hoffman, CYS coordinator, said CYS follows Department of Defense priorities.
“(DoD priorities) gives single and dual-military families a higher priority, which allows them to be placed sooner than other families on the waitlist,” Hoffman said. “The current priorities also give a higher priority to an active-duty sponsor with a working spouse.
“CYS also provides information to Childcare Aware of America, which assists families in locating off post child care options that meet their needs,” she said. “In addition to child care, CYS also has wonderful sports and (Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills) instructional programs available.”
There are also off-post alternatives for child care and schooling.
For more information, e-mail Amanda Buckingham, CYS school liaison officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.