Far East District participates in job fair aimed at increasing military spouse employment

Far East District
Published Jan. 28, 2020
Far East District participates in job fair aimed at increasing military spouse employment

Penny Ferguson(left), a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District workforce liaison specialist, speaks with Sheryl Dresse, during the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Employment Readiness local recruiter job fair held at the Morning Calm Center, Camp Humphreys, South Korea, Jan. 22. The job fair is a part of the Military Spouse Hiring Initiative in an effort to hire qualified family members in Korea with their active duty spouse.

CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea—The U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Employment Readiness Center hosted its first local recruiter job fair at the Morning Calm Center. This job fair was unique in the fact that it was a part of the Military Spouse Hiring Initiative.

The Military Spouse Hiring Initiative is a new program that will allow military spouses to meet one-on-one with a local human resources (HR) representatives to review their qualifications and receive feedback and career guidance.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Far East District (FED) workforce management office was present as a vendor at the fair to answer questions and provide insight into the district’s function in the Republic of Korea.

Penny Ferguson, a workforce management specialist and also a military spouse, was readily available to speak with fair participants and explain the many opportunities within the FED.

“We have so many more positions inside the Corps of Engineers, that people don’t expect,” said Ferguson. “We have everything from mechanics to logistics, to support services and workforce management, most people think we only hire engineers. So I am here today trying to educate them that we are much more.”

Spouses who attended the fair were able to not only speak with FED, but many other agencies as well. There were also counselors from CPAC present who could answer their questions regarding the overall hiring process.

“Many spouses just wanted to speak with me about the positions they can apply for and after I educated them on the Corps of Engineers, I directed them to speak with Stephanie Nishimori for more information,” said Ferguson.

Nishimori is a human resource assistant with the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC), and also the lead for the Military Spouse Hiring Initiative.

Sherry Dresse is a 21-year Army veteran retiree and has been located in Korea for the past seven months with her family.

Dresse worked in logistics during her military service and is looking to use her more than two-decade expertise to land a position here.

“I am here so I can network with the organizations that are here and hopefully find a position as a contractor or GS [general schedule] employee in the logistics field,” said Dresse.

Since being retired, Dresse stated that she has maintained contact with active duty personnel to ensure that she stays abreast to changes in the career field in order to be up-to-date on the skills required to land a position. She went on to share her opinion on the Military Spouse Hiring Initiative.  

“I think it’s a great program, and it is going to help a lot of spouses find employment and utilize their skills while here,” said Dresse.

There were many vendors providing education and information to job seekers, and Dresse stated that she wanted to speak to as many people as possible with the hopes of it being beneficial to her desired outcome.

“There are a lot of great opportunities here, so hopefully something will come to fruition,” said Dresse.