FED leans forward in military spouse employment opportunities

Far East District
Published Jan. 5, 2020
FED leans forward in military spouse employment opportunities

Col. Christopher Crary (right),U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District (FED) commander, presents Jennifer Christian, a district management assistant, with a five-year civilian service award, at the district headquarters, Camp Humphreys, South Korea, Nov.15, 2019.

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Far East District (FED), supports the Far East region’s military spouse hiring initiative by ensuring it provides opportunities to personnel and their family relocating to the region.

In 2019, we highlighted the military spouse hiring initiative, which is a program that allows military spouses to meet one-on-one with a local human resources (HR) representative to review their qualifications and receive feedback and career guidance. We decided to follow-up on that article highlighting another military spouse employee who chose to work with the Far East District.

According to Stephanie Nishimori, a civilian personnel advisory center (CPAC) assistant, often times military spouses don’t accompany their servicemember to Korea due to concern with finding a new job.

“So what we are trying to do is expedite hiring processes for spouse hiring and for Korea to be the assignment of choice,” said Nishimori.  “We are working to provide our spouses with enough opportunities to get work that they’re qualified for and that they enjoy doing to keep them happy while they’re overseas.”

Prior to introducing this initiative, the military spouse non-competitive hiring process was and still is a system that allows spouses to be prioritized for jobs based on spousal preference. However, the new initiative streamlines the process and ensures that spouses have the proper qualifications for potential jobs opportunities.

“It’s very much the same program, except now, spouses are able to come in and talk with any of us and get some feedback on their resume,” said Nishimori. “We are actually sending the resumes to the HR specialists that have available positions.”

Jennifer Christian, a management assistant, who has been a government employee for the past five years, relocated to Korea with her family from Fort Eustis, Va. Christian’s husband is an Army warrant officer who has served for more than 16 years.

Christian came to Korea without a new job but was able to secure employment with the Far East District’s logistic management office. She wanted to offer encouragement to spouses who may be hesitant to relocate here due to job uncertainty.

“Being a military spouse provides you a hiring privilege to secure a job,” said Christian. “When you don’t get a job right away don’t be discouraged because there will be a job for you.”

Christian and her husband went on to thank the federal service for the opportunities they provide and the FED for hiring her at her current position.