If you are the spouse of an active duty service member or veteran and you are unemployed or underemployed, you’re not alone.
According to a recent report from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, the unemployment rate for military spouses is 3 times higher than their civilian counterparts. Of those spouses who work, one-third report they are underemployed based on their educational background. To make matters worse, employed active duty military spouses earn roughly 38% less than their civilian counterparts.
At Challenge America, we believe the issue of military spouse employment has been ignored for far too long. Based on previous research, we know that 9 out of 10 military spouses want to work yet are either unemployed or underemployed. To address this issue, this fall we are partnering with Project Sanctuary to launch a new initiative to give military spouses the tools they need to secure a satisfying career that fits their work-life balance.
Our unique program offers a free aptitude assessment and nearly 8 hours of free career counseling services. Following a brief (20 minute) aptitude test, participants will take part in career workshops on the following topics:
- Self-Exploration: Participants will take easy career assessments and participate in the Career Lifeline exercise which will help them learn more about their strengths, passions and skills.
- Educational and Career Research: Participants will explore potential careers and educational programs based on their strengths, skills and passions.
- Informational Interviewing Skills: Participants will learn and practice basic informational interviewing skills to help them gain information on potential careers and to tap the hidden job market.
- Road Map: Participants will create a road map of next steps including reaching out to professionals in fields of interest.
- Job Search Strategies: Participants will learn a variety of job search strategies and resources to help them find employment
- Job Interview Skills: Participants will learn basic job interview skills
In addition, each participant will receive on free hour of individual coaching from a career counseling professional. This coaching will include a variety of topics according to each participant’s specific needs. To ensure this time is well spent, each participant will receive a feedback form prior to the their coaching session, so that they can inform the coach of the topics they would like to discuss during their session.
There is no cost to apply or participate in this program. Project Sanctuary and Challenge America will provide free babysitting service during the major work groups as well as free snacks before and after each major session.
To help ensure the program is a success, we simply ask that all applicants agree to the following terms:
- Agree to participate in all program-related surveys.
- Agree to attend all program activities. These include:
- One four-hour Career Exploration Workshop
- One two-hour Job Search Workshop
- One one-hour Individual Coaching Session
- Agree to contact the program facilitator as soon as possible if you are unable to attend for any reason.
On behalf of Project Sanctuary and Challenge America, I want to thank you for taking the time to consider our program. If you are an unemployed or underemployed military spouse and you can commit to the requirements outlined above, I hope you will take just a few minutes to complete our brief online application. We wish you all the best and hope to see you in our workshops!
Session 1: September 27: 9am - 2pm
Session 2: October 4: 9am - 12pm
Bill Daniels Veteran Services Center
1247 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80205
Contact Dallas Blaney