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First American Job Center On Base Opens at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Members of the 62nd Civil Engineer Squadron, pack up after installing the new Joint Base Lewis-McChord sign at the entrance of the base Sunday. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Abner Guzman)
Members of the 62nd Civil Engineer Squadron, pack up after installing the new Joint Base Lewis-McChord sign at the entrance of the base Sunday. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Abner Guzman)

Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) in Washington state was opening the first American Jobs Center (AJC) on a military base Friday for transitioning service members, spouses and working-age dependents.

Col. Daniel Morgan, JBLM's garrison commander, was joining with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and the Washington State Military transition council at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the AJC, a project of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration.

The AJC will bolster the existing support services at JBLM, and public-private partnerships in the region, to aid transitioning service members in joining the civilian workforce.

In a statement, Morgan said that bringing the AJC to JBLM was the result of two years of planning to take advantage of the AJC's expertise in training, referrals, career counseling, job listings, and other services.

"In an era of fiscal uncertainty," Morgan said, "the best way ahead is to link official federal, state, and local resources in a sustainable manner so we have transparency across the spectrum and can measure our success versus a loosely knitted approach that is overwhelming our people," said Morgan.

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"The American Job Center provides this transparent, collaborative, and sustainable approach for all stakeholders that can network veterans and the labor force anywhere and anytime," Morgan said.

Chris Gentz, a deputy transitions manager at JBLM's Service Member for Life -- Transition Assistance Program, said that setting up the AJC at the base could be the forerunner to AJCs at other military bases.

"We are at the forefront involving anything transitions" at JBLM, Gentz told the Northern Guardian, the base newspaper. "We're really the trial board because of the success of our initiatives."

"The hope is once we've proven the success with this formula, (the American Job Center) can be transplanted into other military installations," Gentz said.

The American Job Center will provide specialists to help veterans work on improving their resumes, and developing networking tools and interviewing skills. American Job Centers across the nation reportedly served more than one million veterans last year.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at richard.sisk@military.com

Related Topics

Headlines Military Transition Transition Employment Department of Veteran Affairs Military Bases Veterans Employment Veteran Jobs Richard Sisk

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