TACOMA, Wash. – Military spouses are invited to attend the grand opening of the Heroes at Home 2 program, being held June 24 at 11:00 a.m. at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM).
The Heroes at Home 2 program will help 825 military spouses, affected by the 2010 consolidation of Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base into JBLM, start new careers and seek work.
From 2003 to 2010, total personnel stationed at JBLM increased by about 38 percent to a total population of more than 45,000. It is estimated that more than 6,000 spouses, family members and contractors will relocate due to these military personnel moving to the joint base.
The National Emergency Grant was made available through U.S. Department of Labor as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) action of 2005 and the subsequent relocation of military personnel and families to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. The grant funds will assist BRAC-impacted military spouses upgrade their skills and/or prepare for new careers. Services will include: free tuition, career coaching, job training, supportive services and employment linkage. The grant also will assist in identifying skill gaps in new and emerging industries critical to the economic growth of Pierce and Thurston counties. It is the goal of the grant program to enroll all participants into the job assistance program this summer.
The grant was awarded to the Washington State Employment Security Department in partnership with WorkForce Central, City of Lakewood, Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, Thurston Economic Development Council and Tacoma-Pierce County Economic Development Board. WorkForce Central, the workforce investment board for Pierce County, and the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, the workforce investment board for Thurston County, will implement the program at a local level. The Stone Education Center, located on base, serves as the Joint Base Re-employment Center providing easy access to those seeking new jobs in the two-county area.
If media is interested in attending the grand opening ceremony, please contact the JBLM Public Affairs Office by 3:00 p.m. on June 23 to arrange for an escort to the event: (253) 967-0152 or (253) 967-0147.