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Boeing partners with USO Pathfinder

Comprehensive employment readiness program for transitioning servicemembers

Sheryl Beck reviews Army Master Sgt. Karen Moody’s resumé and offers some suggestions. Moody currently serves in the 62nd Medical Brigade and is planning for her future after the Army. Photo credit: Marguerite Cleveland

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A day-long employment summit for military spouses and servicewomen took place at Joint Base Lewis-McChord Monday. The event was a partnership with The Boeing Company and the USO. The expo focused on helping to navigate the transition from military life to the civilian world with professional development and resources. The event included keynote talks from local industry and government representatives.

"Boeing has a robust relationship with USO Pathfinder to support events like this one. Last year, the company announced a $5 million, multi-year commitment to help expand USO Pathfinder -- the nation's first comprehensive employment readiness program for transitioning military servicemembers. The event at JBLM is part of that commitment, with the women in attendance representing just a small portion of the more than 210,000 transitioning servicemembers expected to be assisted with the USO Pathfinder programs," said Todd E. Kelley, Media Relations and Communications, The Boeing Company.

Angela Collins, a veteran and military spouse, was a part of the USO Pathfinder program. "I was a client and then was hired on to be a Pathfinder Scout. I was in a position where I just didn't know where to start. This program helped me get on the right path," she said.

As a Pathfinder Scout, Collins conducts "get centered" interviews with new clients. "We help them unpack their dreams -- professional and personal. Then they prepare a list of actionable tasks so that they can meet their goal. The scouts also keep in constant contact with their clients based on their needs. We can connect them to the resources they need, whether they are job hunting locally, or moving to Nebraska."

Boeing has more than 1,000 employees enrolled in the Boeing Employees Veterans Association. They sent volunteers to the USO event. Sheryl Beck, a manager at Boeing, wears a variety of hats including being involved in the hiring process. She is also a Navy veteran and military spouse. "Boeing is very proud of their support for the military."

Beck conducted mock interviews and reviewed resumés for participants. "I do a lot of hiring so I know what they are looking for. I help screen their resumés for military lingo. I also help women who often feel unqualified if they aren't a perfect match for a job. I help them realize what skills they have and help boost their confidence," she said.

Many military spouses are not aware of all the programs and opportunities that are now available to them. For Mary Ball, a military spouse who works at the Warriors Transition Battalion, her reasons for coming to the expo were twofold. "Through my work at the Warrior's Transition Battalion, soldiers often ask me about programs for their spouses, so I wanted to learn more about the USO Pathfinder program so I could share it with them. I also wanted to share my experiences with other military spouses. Listening to the panels today, there was so much great information and advice that I wished I knew 20 years ago. Hopefully, I can help other spouses down the line with what I learned today and I will be able to use for myself if we moved again and I need to find a job," she said.

If you want to learn more about the USO Pathfinder program, visit: for more information. 

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