Tyndall AFB partners with CareerSource Gulf Coast to help with military spousal employment

Bay County

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. (WMBB) — Finding employment is an already stressful task for anyone, but for military spouses, there are added complications.

“I know how difficult it is,” said Rebecca Gestrich, a military spouse working at Tyndall Air Force Base. “Here we are, our fifth PCS and I’m having to do this all over again. I got to find a new job, I got to get re-established.”

She and other spouses said, when it comes to a career, the nomadic military lifestyle doesn’t lend itself too well.

“They generally can’t get employed because most employers know that they are going to move,” said Mary Wells, a Community Readiness Consultant at Tyndall AFB. Wells works alongside Gestrich and several others on the community readiness team, helping military spouses find well-paying employment and childcare.

“We are here to help them with their resume, their interview skills, how to write the resume and how to prepare for employment in the local area,” Wells said.

Wells and Gestrich said it is a common occurrence for businesses and supervisors to pass along military spouse resumes because of the presumed disadvantages, even though spouses often make for extremely dependable and versatile employees.

“I have all this cool experience behind me that maybe other people in the local community don’t because I’ve moved,” Gestrich said. “I’ve seen how things work in different locations, maybe even different countries.”

Through a community partnership with CareerSource Gulf Coast, the Community Readiness Team at Tyndall AFB works alongside career counselors to help military spouses get connected with the right fit as quickly as possible.

“We do have a lot of military spouses that are in our community,” said CSGC Communications Director, Brittany Rock. “So having them employed, only helps our economy and helps these families thrive while they’re here.”

Base leaders said The Department of Defense has made military spousal employment a priority across the country, scoring bases on community criteria like military spousal employment opportunities for consideration of future missions.

Rock said as more military families move to the area, they’re happy to see companies want to get involved.

“We’re very excited because it’s only going to solidify and strengthen our relationship with Tyndall Air Force Base,” she said.

The Community Readiness Team said the partnership has been very helpful so far, from having more people on the team to get spouses employed locally, to coming up with new, teleworking jobs to bring to the area that spouses can take with them when they leave.

“It’s working, and of course we want to improve upon that,” said Tim Bowers, another Community Readiness Consultant. “That’s the whole business of the program and the partnership is to continue to expand it and continue to grow it.”

For more information on military spousal employment, click here for a News 13 Special Report, “Families in Motion.”

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