With topics ranging from insights on interviews, resumes and social networking, to dressing for civilian success, there was plenty to discuss Monday during the United Service Organizations (USO) Pathfinder program’s first expo for servicewomen and military spouses who are transitioning to civilian life.
Boeing has a robust relationship with USO Pathfinder, the nation’s first comprehensive employment readiness program for transitioning military service members, to support such events.
This week’s event at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) near Tacoma, Wash., is part of a $5 million, multi-year commitment Boeing made last year to help expand USO Pathfinder. The roughly 100 women in attendance represent a small portion of more than 210,000 transitioning service members expected to be assisted nationwide through USO Pathfinder programs.
Jennifer McGarry was among the military spouses who attended the summit. Her husband currently serves at JBLM, and after many years out of the workforce, she is eager to ensure her transition into a new civilian job is successful.
“As a military spouse, I’ve been moving around a lot,” explained McGarry. “Getting back into the workforce and finding a job that will travel with me over the years is important. I’m here today because I’m hoping to get more connected to all the resources that are available to help me network and have an effective social presence.”
Dr. Kristin Saboe, senior talent strategy lead at Boeing and a former U.S. Army captain was among several speakers at the event who addressed the need to support transitioning members of the military and their spouses.
“Boeing takes its commitment to our service members, veterans, and military families seriously,” said Saboe. “We are committed to supporting programs like USO Pathfinder that address their unique needs, and are pleased to be part of this summit, which is focused specifically on supporting women as they seek to transition to civilian jobs.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Aprill Jones, a 20-year Boeing employee and member of the Boeing Employees Veterans Association, or BEVA, who volunteered at the USO Pathfinder summit. Her husband is currently deployed in Afghanistan.
“I just wanted to be part of giving back, especially for something supporting women and families,” said Jones.
“It makes me proud that Boeing cares enough to support USO Pathfinder and women going through this life and career transition,” she said. “People forget what military women and spouses are going through when they move into civilian life, and it’s great that Boeing supports like this.”
By Deborah Feldman