Program offers families employment assistance

22 Aug 2016 | Cpl. Mark Watola Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Family members of service members often have difficulty in finding jobs due to frequent moves and taking care of families.

Those family members seeking jobs can take advantage of the Family Member Employment Assistance Program, free of charge.

With locations on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, in the Tarawa Terrace plaza and on Marine Corps Air Station New River, in AS-912 on Longstaff Street, the program provides a variety of resources and services to help families find employment.

 “The purpose of what we do is to provide comprehensive support in the job search process for spouses and family members,” said Jenny Ormsby, personal and professional development advisor with FMEAP. “Whether they’re married or someone who is relocating because they’re engaged and even children.”

Per Marine Corps Order 1700.38, FMEAP is a required program on each installation. Wherever Marines go,  they have assistance available to them.

In addition to one-on-one assistance, the program also offers classes including resume writing, resume targeting for specific jobs, job interview preparation  and even  salary negotiation.

“The big ones we have that people are most interested in are navigating MCCS employment,” said Ormsby. “We also have helped retirees with USAjobs applications.”

Personnel from Coastal Carolina Community College’s human resources department comes to the Lejeune FMEAP office to give similar weeklong classes from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., with a focus on practical application throughout the week, culminating with a mock interview.

“Often the spouses are following the service member around, but a lot of times the spouses have gone to school and they want to pursue a career,” said Ormsby. “When they’re moving every two to three years, it’s hard to do that. We provide support for that so they can target specific jobs in certain areas.”

Not only does the program help family members while their service member is on active duty, but it also assists during the transition back to civilian life through the Spouse Transition and Readiness Seminar, or STARS.

“STARS helps spouses prepare for life after military,” said Sarah Carr, personal and professional development advisor with FMEAP.  “They learn about their medical and health benefits, veterans affairs, education, employment options, finance and budgeting.”

One challenge many spouses face while looking to pursue their career is childcare. The FMEAP offers help to allow spouses to use the services of the program.

“What we find is that spouses have a hard time coming to us because they have to drop their kids off at day care, and it’s expensive,” said Ormsby. “We have recently received a grant for childcare costs, so they can attend the classes. If there’s something that (spouses) need to get done, they’re able to bring their kids in. We’re a pretty family-friendly operation here.”

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