Military spouses always have been invited to participate in transition programs with their service members, but many don't attend them. Whether there isn't enough space for spouses in the class, child care isn't available, or they just don't find them interesting, spouses are missing out on transition assistance.
So the Veterans' Employment & Training Service (VETS) came up with a new curriculum just for military spouses. It's called the Transition Employment Assistance for Military Spouses, or TEAMS.
"The research phase of the TEAMS project discovered that full-day schedules didn't meet the needs of military spouses, who need more flexibility," said Laurel Devine, the communications director for the VETS program.
There are many programs that focus on military spouses' employment assistance, such as Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Professional Networks and Military Spouse Employment Partnership. But the TEAMS workshops bring something different, since they focus on spouses who are preparing for their service member to transition out of the military.
The curriculum is organized into four free workshops; three are two hours long, and the other, on mastering your résumé, runs 4½ hours.
Since pilot programs began in October 2020, virtual TEAMS workshops have served more than 300 military spouses worldwide, and in-person pilot programs at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida, and Fort Gordon, Georgia, accommodated another 58 participants. Each spouse who participated completed more than half of the available workshops.
Most of the spouses (64%) who participated were active-duty spouses, 14% were spouses of veterans and the rest of the participants were from partner organizations, like the Defense Department.
The spouses who participated were pleased with the pilot workshops, particularly the Participant Guides.
"Comments on the courses' timing indicated the timing was good, and most felt the content fit well into the time allotted,'' Devine said.
Four workshops are available, all part of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), and each is designed to help military spouses reach their employment goals. The workshops are Marketing Me, Your Next Move, Career Credentials and Résumé Essentials, and they are offered as part of the TEAMS curriculum.
Devine said the workshops will be offered virtually on a monthly basis in various time zones to accommodate as many people as possible -- and that changes will be made based on the analysis from participation and delivery times.
They're also looking to offer the TEAMS workshops locally when in-person training options increase. The workshops then would be offered in a similar manner to the traditional TAP classes for transitioning service members.
To see the full schedule and register for an upcoming session, visit the website.
Keep Up with the Ins and Outs of Military Life
For the latest military news and tips on military family benefits and more, subscribe to Military.com and have the information you need delivered directly to your inbox.