Fort Bliss Employment Readiness Program helps military families during job hunt
By DAVID BURGE | El Paso Times (Tribune News Service) | Published: December 2, 2016
A key program wants to remind military spouses, family members and others in the Fort Bliss community that it is there to help them find meaningful employment.
Staff members of the Employment Readiness Program conducted a grand re-opening at their office inside the Army Community Service building on Nov. 15.
They touted their new resource room filled with brand-new computer stations and a new copier, fax machine and scanner.
But they also wanted to get the message out about what they do.
The staff of four trained and certified professionals can help military spouses, retirees, family members and Department of Defense civilian employees find work or advance in their careers. The main focus is on helping military spouses find jobs.
Employment Readiness can help with resume writing, preparing for an interview and with the job search itself. Staff members are also certified experts in helping people find jobs in the federal government.
“We want to let the community know that we are here,” said Deana Garcia, the program manager for Employment Readiness. “We offer expertise you aren’t going to find elsewhere.”
Employment Readiness holds weekly orientation meetings to let members of the Fort Bliss community know what it does. It also plans and organizes two large-scale hiring fairs each year that are held at the installation. All its services are free.
It also holds classes on resume writing, interviewing skills and other areas that can help job seekers in their quest.
Right now, Employment Readiness is working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and its Hiring Our Heroes program. Hiring Our Heroes will have a two-day event Tuesday and Wednesday at the Centennial Club to help military spouses find work. The first day is an informal networking reception and the second day is a hiring fair.
This collaborative effort is an example of the type of work that Employment Readiness does to help job seekers affiliated with Fort Bliss, Garcia said.
Denise Carothers, an employment readiness educator with Employment Readiness, said the program can serve as a friend and guiding hand for job seekers.
She recommends that job seekers start with attending one of the weekly orientation sessions to learn about the program.
The program and its staffers can then help job seekers tailor their resumes to specific jobs or industries, Carothers said. They also conduct mock interviews to get job seekers ready for that important hurdle, she said.
“We are here to help,” Carothers said.
Thomas Sotomayor, an employment readiness specialist, said that after a job seeker attends one of their orientation sessions, it is important to schedule a one-on-one meeting with one of the program’s staff members to develop a specific game plan for finding work.
El Paso is a very military-friendly community, and many businesses want to hire military spouses, Sotomayor said.
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