Forum highlights spouse employment, higher education

  • Published
  • By Marisa Alia-Novobilski
  • Air Force Materiel Command

VIDEO | 1:00:01 | AFMC Spouse and Family Forum: Employment and Higher Education Opportunities
The Air Force Materiel Command held a virtual Spouse and Family Forum, Aug. 2, highlighting career and educational resources for spouses and family members across the enterprise.

Hosted by Gen. Duke Z. Richardson, AFMC Commander, and his spouse Dede, the event was part of the AFMC Family Connection initiative which aims to better link family members with information, resources, and support in all life areas.

“It's been said a lot of times that we recruit the [service] member, but we retain the family, and there's a lot of truth to that. When the family's happy, the ability to continue serving is greatly enhanced,” said Gen. Richardson during opening remarks.

“Your input is valuable. We know that spouse employment and education is one of our top priorities and one of the top issues that our families are facing,” continued DeDe Richardson. “There's a lot of information out there-- lots of programs and initiatives, even throughout your installations. But we need to help navigating that. So that's what today is about.”

Panelists representing Military Family Readiness Centers, AFMC Civilian Personnel, the Air Force Employee Assistance Program, and the AFMC Workforce Development Branch shared up-to-date resources available to support both military and civilian family members on their career and higher education journeys. Attendees also had the opportunity to ask questions of the panelists, many of whom also served as military spouses, further clarifying program parameters and availability.

“As a former military spouse and now civilian, I’ve moved 17 times in 25 years, so I understand the challenges that affect both groups [military and civilian spouses] in starting and maintaining employment,” said Jennifer Humphreys, part of the AFMC Human Resources team. “At AFMC, we are working to provide resources to support anyone relocating to an AFMC installation and will try to work like a ‘matchmaker’ between hiring managers who have vacancies and spouses who are looking for new jobs.”

Humphreys discussed federal job eligibility, military spouse job preference, and new and emerging flexibilities related to employee schedules, telework and remote work. She also emphasized the AFMC focus on taking care of family members and the efforts underway to better support career growth and opportunity.

Following Humphreys, Monique Allshouse, chief, AFMC Workforce Development Branch, and also a former military spouse, spoke about education and challenges faced by individuals asking themselves, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”

“I am a military spouse--newly a contractor spouse--and a civilian. I also found myself asking a lot of the questions that I'm about to touch on with this group,” said Allshouse, who shared several resources to assist individuals in identifying a career, appropriate school, and higher education funding.

Allshouse highlighted career aptitude assessments and scholarship resources, emphasizing the importance of sharing the unique circumstances and challenges brought on by military family life in essay applications, which might help a candidate receive funds over another applicant.

“I would encourage everyone to reach out to the servicing education offices to learn a little bit more about what occurs in your area and what assistance they have,” she said.

At Hill AFB, Military & Family Readiness Center Director Kim Taylor said they are ready to help in many ways.

“The Military & Family Readiness Center has staff equipped to help individuals navigate career options, whether that be education, volunteering, or job searching,” she said. “We look forward to helping individuals navigate their personal situation and goals they have for their future.”

Employment readiness, career exploration, and military spouse training programs were addressed by Linda Logan, a program manager at the Air Force Personnel Center, which oversees the Military Family Readiness Centers across the Air Force. She explained the support role that MFRCs play in assisting individuals in developing employment readiness skills, career exploration, goal setting, and connections to career employment resources. She also highlighted the connections MFRCs have with the Department of Labor and other local career centers that can assist family members on the employment journey.

“The second part of what we do is referral and support to throughout the DoD [Department of Defense] platform and portfolio, and through partnerships with the Department of Labor, we've got the career one-stop centers that are for both military as well as civilian spouses. They provide great support and resources,” said Logan. “There’s something for everybody out there.”

Danna Plewe, program manager for the Air Force Employee Assistance Program, discussed career and job assistance resources available to civilian family members through the EAP platform. These include job coaching, identification of certification requirements, and financial consultations that can assist in planning education or career endeavors.

“We provide resources and support for our civilian workforce, their family members, spouses and any household members or partners. This support is similar to that provided by Military OneSource for military family members,” said Plewe.

Taylor said forums raise awareness and are pertinent to every military spouse no matter what phase in life and career.

“As military families, it is important to be connected with the resources that are available to you,” she said. "Spouses can gain access to these programs and resources right here at Hill AFB. There is a resource for everyone."

For more information, call the Hill M&FRC at 801-777-4681.  

The event concluded with a brief question and answer session driven by the audience, along with shared information on the USAF Connect Mobile Application, which contains a listing of the resources discussed during the event.

To view the virtual event, visit


The following is a list of resources mentioned during the livestream event:

The next Spouse and Family Forum will be held in Nov. 2023.

75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs contributed to this article.