By By Heather S. Marsh | 50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The Schriever Airman and Family Readiness Center is starting the New Year focused on a few goals: increase awareness about job resources and training, offer more finance-related classes and communicate important program changes to support Team Schriever.
“Many people don’t realize our classes and services are not just for military members, they are also available to [Defense Department] civilians,” said Andrea Hernandez, Schriever AFRC flight chief. “There are several resources offered to military members that are also open to spouses, like resume review and employment-related workshops, and [Transition Assistance Program] classes.”
The center, part of the 50th Force Support Squadron, serves Team Schriever through the following programs:
• Transition and employment
• Deployment and family readiness
• Financial management
• Work-life balance/key spouse
• Relocation services
• Exceptional family member
• Air Force aid
• Military and family life consultant
• Casualty services/survivor benefits
“This year we are really focusing on employment — especially for spouses,” said Hernandez. “We are currently coordinating a work-from-home seminar, scheduled this spring, to help spouses navigate ins and outs of how to find reputable companies offering legitimate opportunities.”
Another resource the team is actively working on, in conjunction with the 50th FSS marketing department, is a new comprehensive employment opportunities section on the 50th FSS website [https://50fss.com/employment-opportunities/]. According to Hernandez, the section, though still in development, will feature:
• Local and national job postings
• Job search and interview tips
• Upcoming employment-related
• Job transition resources
“Using the new [Airman and Family Readiness Center] employment website, individuals can select the type of position they are seeking,” said Mel Castile, Schriever AFRC personal, work life and employment specialist. “This will help people save time and hopefully find listings easier.”
The Schriever AFRC works with a variety of local agencies — such as Mount Carmel Veterans Service Center, USO Pathfinder, Department of Labor, Pikes Peak Workforce Center and other local military installations — to highlight job listings, share feedback and promote training opportunities relevant to service members facing career transitions. The center staff, a team of nine, also uses community partner feedback to tailor classes and workshops.
“Interview prep is a common topic,” said Hernandez. “The feedback we get from local employment agencies about transitioning service members is almost always related to interview performance. This, and other feedback, is valuable information we use to develop our classes and workshops.”
In 2020, the center will offer more finance-related classes.
“Most people don’t like to talk about finance — it’s not generally a fun topic,” said Hernandez. “But it is so important.”
Lenea Lance, Schriever AFRC personal financial readiness consultant, and the newest member of the team, will oversee classes and workshops related to finance and Air Force Aid.
“It is important for Airmen to understand how personal finance decisions can impact both personal and career goals,” said Lance. “I’m looking forward to offering classes on investing, buying a home or car, and preparing college students for the first year of dorm living.”
Hernandez mentioned the Air Force has implemented new financial “touch points” to ensure Airmen are prepared for financial changes they will encounter during their service, such as moving from the dorms to an apartment, benefiting from pay increases or non-taxable pay, becoming a parent, and saving for unexpected events.
“Airmen shouldn’t wait until the week before a move to make sure they have enough money to pay for rental deposits and fees, monthly rent and utility payments, etc.,” said Hernandez. “We want them to come in and talk with us — if we don’t have the resources, we will work with them to find the help they need on, or off base.”
A new year often brings change and military programs aren’t exempt. One common military transition program, the Defense Department Transition Assistance Program, aimed at preparing service members for transition from the military back to civilian life, is implementing new changes.
According to Hernandez, some of the more notable changes include earlier program enrollment (service members must start the program at least a year before they separate or retire), reorganized curriculum and class schedule, and a more standardized program across the services. For more information on the current changes, visit the FAQs on the TAP website.
In 2019, the Schriever Airman and Family Readiness Center offered approximately 163 workshops, supported 293 outreach events and responded to more than 2,500 requests for information. Though their office is smaller than others, Hernandez said it isn’t size that makes them unique.
“What makes us special is that we have passionate people who strive to provide a more personal customer experience,” she said. “We make connections with people — and that makes such a difference.”
Visit with the staff from the Schriever Airman and Family Readiness Center, and other base helping agencies, during an information fair scheduled 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 21 outside of the base dining facility. Agencies will provide information about a variety of current Air Force and DOD support programs and health resources.