Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Finding employment for spouses and child care are among the top concerns of incoming soldiers and their families.
A number of programs on and off post are poised to help spouses of service members and veterans find employment.
For example, a KansasWorks Statewide Virtual Job Fair continues through March 25.
According to a press release from Gov. Laura Kelly’s office, Kelly said, “Kansas veterans pick up valuable career skills during their time in military service that give them the tools to be successful members of our workforce. The KansasWorks Virtual Job Fair is designed to help elevate those skills and promote their talents to businesses and employers statewide.”
To register for and join the job fair, visit https://kansasworksvirtualjobfair.easyvirtualfair.com/.
Fort Leavenworth is also working to help incoming spouses find work before they arrive by partnering with KansasWorks and Military OneSource.
“Bottom line … we’re going to work hard to start a dialogue with spouses to see if we can help them (find employment),” said Glenn Hewitt, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation director.
Christopher Grotheer of KansasWorks is available 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Army Community Service, 600 Thomas Ave, to help military spouses find employment and build their resumes. For more information or to make an appointment, call 684-4357/2800 or e-mail Christopher.Grotheer@ks.gov.
Call or e-mail before visiting to make sure Grotheer is available.
To also help assist spouses in finding employment more efficiently, a survey has been mailed to incoming soldiers to find out the employment needs of their spouses, said Janice Downey, ACS division chief.
The survey asks various questions including preferred job fields, educational background, professional certifications that would require renewal or transfer to the state of Kansas or Missouri, and child care needs.
The completed surveys should be e-mailed to Downey at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Along with Grotheer, Dwayne Pratt, Disabled Veterans Outreach Program veterans employment representative, who works with the Soldier for Life – Transition Assistance Program, is also available to help youths ages 16-24, military spouses, veterans and transitioning service members find employment.
Pratt is available from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays at the Resiliency Center, 600 Thomas Ave. Tuesday through Friday, Pratt is available at the Workforce Center, 515 Limit St., Leavenworth, Kan.
For more information or to make an appointment, call 684-2539, (913) 651-1855 or e-mail Dwayne.Pratt@ks.gov.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, Child and Youth Services is currently only offering before- and after-school care and full-day care for limited numbers.
“As COVID-19 restrictions change, hourly care and part-day care will be added,” said Carole Hoffman, Child and Youth Services coordinator.
To register for child care, visit the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Fort Leavenworth CYS website at https://leavenworth.armymwr.com/programs/parent-and-outreach-services.
“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,” Hewitt said. “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.
Hoffman 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.