ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --
Military spouses are charged with many responsibilities, from keeping their families strong and resilient, to sometimes finding employment. Though military spouses can be well-educated and highly qualified for a job, frequent relocation and extended deployments can make finding a job for a military spouse very challenging.
The 97th Air Mobility Wing Airman and Family Readiness Center created the Spouse Employment Program to help military spouses who may face these difficulties find a job in Altus, Dec. 2019, at Altus Air Force Base, Okla.
“I think it can be really hard as a military spouse to find employment in a local area just because of the frequent moving and limited amount of jobs available in the area,” said Christine Mcelreath, the Spouse Employment Manager assigned to the 97th Force Support Squadron. “The Spouse Employment Program is solely built to help spouses not only find a job that matches their qualifications, but also helps improve their experience at Altus.”
The Spouse Employment Program is specifically designed to help spouses looking for a job get their foot in the door in local businesses. This program, unique from other current employment classes, works one-on-one with a spouse to help find a job best fit for the individual. It is a simple program that could make a big change in a spouse’s life.
“The whole process is pretty simple. Once or if you have your resume you would contact me to set up an appointment so we can get the ball rolling,” said Mcelreath. “During the appointment, I will go over your resume, what qualifications you have and what jobs you are interested in. Once I have all that information, I will find the best fit job for applicants as they come in.”
As part of her job, Mcelreath connects with managers and local business representatives from across the city of Altus to see what positions are available. Through this unique connection, Mcelreath is able to help share the benefits of hiring a military spouse.
Although no job is guaranteed, the Spouse Employment Program benefits spouses more than any other program offered on base because of its unique connection with the community. Since it began, more than 20 spouses have enrolled in the program.
“Since I’ve started in this position, I have really been able to advocate for the spouses to the local community,” said Mcelreath. “They may not have the longevity as civilian employees may have, but they have unique training, perspective and experience that can be beneficial in a job.”
Additionally, the 97th A&FRC offers monthly classes for spouses looking to build their job application skills, including how to build a resume, transition assistance program, entrepreneurship and many other useful skills.
Workshops like these are beneficial to spouses in many ways, especially by allowing spouses to communicate, relate and realize they are not alone in their journey. The Spouse Employment Program helps build stronger relationships not only between spouses, but between Mobility Airmen and their families.
The A&FRC is always ready to help support military members and their families. If you are a spouse who is interested in learning more about this program, or getting enrolled yourself, contact the A&FRC at 97AMW.Spouse.Employment@us.af.mil or visit their Facebook page here.