Jobs skills: necessary – Free class empowers spouses to improve professional knowledge, prepare for future careers

Betsy Allen
435th Services Squadron

In just four weeks, KMC spouses improved their writing, time management and computer skills – in addition to making lasting friends and creating a new support group.

From Aug. 2 to 27 the Spouse Empowerment Program, offered through the Ramstein Family Support Center, was successful in teaching spouses valuable job skills.

“This is a great program for junior enlisted spouses because the fee is covered by the Air Force Aid Society and it is not a huge time commitment,” said Donna Burrill, one of three Adult Continuing Education instructors who taught the intensive class.

The goal of the class was to teach skills and knowledge needed to be competitive in today’s job market, said Allison Dorland, ACE instructor who taught marketable computer skills in PowerPoint, Access and Excel.

“I really believe in this program. The women benefited from the skills they learned, the friendships they made and the confidence that they gained,” said Ms. Dorland.

Many military spouses are busy making frequent moves, supporting their active- duty spouse and not always taking time for themselves. The success of this class reflected the importance of and need for professional development programs for military spouses, said Dorland.

During class the Civilian Personnel Office clarified the job application process, representatives from 435th Services Squadron and AAFES talked to the attendees about job and volunteer opportunities, and class participants improved skills in resume writing, accounting, computers and professional development.

“I’m happy that I took the class. It was a wonderful opportunity,” said student Sara Miller. “With the current job market, you have to be very competitive, and after taking this class I am.”

With enough interest, the class is tentatively scheduled to run annually. Applicants must be an Air Force active- duty spouse (E5 or below), have a high school diploma or GED, be able to commit to the entire 30-day program, and not hold an academic degree. Tuition, books and fees are paid by the Air Force Aid Society. The class runs five days a week for eight hours a day.

“Even if I do not get employed after this course, I feel good knowing that I have this knowledge,” said student Sarina Brown. “I have already recommended this class to my friends.”

For more information on this and other classes in the KMC, call Ramstein Family Support at 480-5900 or Adult Continuing Education at 480-6043.