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NEWS | Oct. 15, 2021

New workshop to teach career, entrepreneurial skills to military spouses, JBSA members

By David DeKunder 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Military spouses can learn about resources and opportunities that can help them change careers or transfer their job skills each time they go through a permanent change of station, or PCS, status, through a new workshop being conducted by the Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston Military & Family Readiness Center.

The workshop, “Portable Careers and Entrepreneurship,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 5. It is a free and virtual workshop that will be facilitated by subject matter experts from the Small Business Administration, the USO, a veteran who owns several businesses in the community and the JBSA M&FRC financial readiness program. Registration deadline is Nov. 4.

Shannon Klare, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston M&FRC community readiness specialist, said although the workshop is geared towards military spouses, it is open to all JBSA members, including transitioning service members who are ready to start a new career or become an entrepreneur.

“As a spouse myself, I know how very difficult it can be every time the active-duty service member PCS, and you have to sort of step out of your role and try to find a new job,” Klare said. “We want to give spouses and anyone else the tools to create their own jobs, the tools to figure out how to be freelancers, to be their own bosses so they can set their schedule. So, they can move with their job and just take a week off when they’re PCSing rather than starting over from scratch.”

The workshop format will be broken down into several 30-minute module sessions covering various topics on how to start and run a business, including developing a business plan, how to register a business, how to market a business, finance, budgeting and future planning, avoiding business pitfalls and freelancing opportunities.

In addition, information and resources will be provided on career and job opportunities and programs and services at JBSA which can help support military spouses and military members who want to start a new career or become an entrepreneur.

There will be a question and answer session with military spouses who are entrepreneurs in the community. Workshop participants will get to ask the entrepreneurs what they have learned, experienced and what they did in becoming successful entrepreneurs.

Sessions will be moderated by staff members of the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston M&FRC employment readiness program, including Klare, Hazel Wong, Frances Bell and Lauren Earl.

Klare said the goal of workshop facilitators is to provide military spouses and military members a format in which they can learn skills and get accurate information to help them be successful in starting a new career, a new business or becoming an entrepreneur.

As a military spouse, Klare said she has seen the need to have a program where military spouses can obtain reliable information and get support on how to start a new business or becoming an entrepreneur.

“The main thing is making sure they’re starting a business with realistic expectations and that they are doing it correctly and they have the tools to get the word out and help them grow a business,” Klare said. “We want them to be successful and to (let them) know the JBSA population has a huge community of entrepreneurs that are there to help support them and give them knowledge.”

For more information on the workshop, contact JBSA-Fort Sam Houston M&FRC at 210-221-2705. To register, go to Registration deadline is Nov. 4.