Military spouses connected to Fort Sill near Lawton, Okla., are gaining new hiring priority through an expanding relationship between the Lawton Chamber of Commerce and the installation’s Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC), KSWO.com reported this week.
The Lawton Chamber is striving to make military spouses a larger part of its employee pool and is actively working with Fort Sill’s on base CPAC to assist spouses’ employment opportunities with higher priority hiring throughout the community.
“Many military spouses have completed their education, they have career goals, and it’s important for the community to recognize that,” Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber CEO and President Brenda Spencer-Ragland told KSWO.
“Military spouses, just by the nature of the business, constantly moving, setting up households. They are used to transitions, so they are resilient, but they bring creativity as well,” Spencer-Ragland said.
The Fort Sill CPAC recognized when their employment program initially began that military spouses often avoided job hunting. The program now provides resume assistance and job resources to spouses that will help them find careers that fit their interests.
“You had to be limited on the number of positions you could apply too, and that kind of hindered some of the military spouses and they didn’t want to compete and apply,” said CPAC Human Resources Specialist Teena Figueroa.
“They have priority consideration on our installation, so we want them to come to the Ft. Sill CPAC. All of our positions are located on usajobs.gov, and there are an abundance of jobs on Ft. Sill that are open and available,” Figueroa added.
A recent Blue Star Survey showed that nearly half of military spouses struggle to find lasting careers, and close to 20% of military spouses remain unemployed.
But employment prospects are gaining momentum due to new efforts for military spouse priority hiring, according to Federal News Network. Recent rule changes make it easier for spouses to get quality jobs and end downplaying their military connection. The key is knowing the new changes and for spouses to use available resources to help them stand out, according to the report.
Military spouses seeking work in the Lawton area are encouraged to call the chamber with any questions, or they can visit the CPAC office located at the Ft. Sill Welcome Center, Spencer-Ragland said.