Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Military Spouses Find Help with Jobs Pilot Program Aims to Ease Transfer Hardships

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Military Spouses Find Help with Jobs Pilot Program Aims to Ease Transfer Hardships

Article excerpt

Byline: Timothy Puko, Times-Union staff writer

Ana Fishbein is a little different from the typical Adecco associate. At 34, she is 10 years older and has more experience and more education than most people who walk into the staffing agency's office looking for work.

But in 16 years as a sailor's wife, moving from Hawaii to Maryland to Florida to Tennessee and back to Jacksonville again has kept her from building up her resume.

"Like a lot of the military wives, I just have to pack up and go," Fishbein said. "It's frustrating . . . but I have to follow [my husband]. I can't stay here and let him go by himself because that's going to be hard for me and my kids without their dad. Where he goes, I follow."

Now, wherever she follows her husband, Adecco will be available to offer her employment and a chance to continue building her resume. Adecco maintains more than 1,400 offices in North America and places associates in more than 70,000 companies.

Jacksonville Naval Air Station, where Fishbein's husband is stationed, is one of two bases nationwide operating a pilot program with Adecco, the Switzerland-based global staffing agency that has begun recruiting, advising, training and employing military spouses. There are no fees other than those the companies pay Adecco for providing the workers.

Fishbein has bounced from being a physical therapy technician to a sales associate at a store on base. She hopes to work in an office environment, a common placement for Adecco employees who often end up in data entry, clerical and some administrative positions.

According to Adecco statistics, about 38 percent of the 197,000 Navy spouses nationwide are unemployed, like Fishbein has been since returning to Jacksonville in June. But now she can benefit from the pilot program at Jacksonville NAS, also implemented in Quantico, Va., that guarantees military spouses employment, recognition of their experience, and eligibility for benefits and vacation time wherever they travel.

The 90-day pilot has no specific parameters for success but could continue on a permanent basis and include all U.S. military spouses stationed domestically, and possibly those stationed abroad, if military and Adecco officials like the statistics they see in April.

"If they find me a job, that would be a success," Fishbein said while filling out Adecco paperwork Monday.

Adecco branch manager Laura Garrison said her Blanding office has been flooded by calls since the program began Jan. 29. Fifteen people applied in the first four days, increasing the office's flow of applicants by more than 50 percent.

Calls from Mayport Naval Station spouses have been coming, too, and Garrison expects some interest even from Georgia's Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base, where Adecco is planning an upcoming recruiting visit. …

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