At Last…The News We’ve All Been Waiting For

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 20, 2016 Contact: Lauren Weiner-(202) 406-0224
In Gear Career Merges with Hiring Our Heroes to Provide Greater Opportunities for Professionally-Focused Military Spouses

 

 

Tampa, FL– In Gear Career (IGC) is pleased to announce our merger with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) program. While the veteran unemployment rate has dropped, the rate for military spouses has held steady at nearly three times that of their civilian counterparts, hovering at nearly 30% for some spouse groups. This situation is not something that we can ignore, and the merger of the two organizations will provide a stronger opportunity to address the issues facing military spouses in the employment realm.

IGC, a Tampa-based non-profit, was launched by Lauren Weiner, Donna Huneycutt, and Haley Uthlaut, the spouses of active duty troops and a Department of Defense civilian, all of whose career progressions were challenged by their frequent moves with the military. Weiner and Huneycutt launched a consulting firm in 2005, leveraging the untapped talents of military spouses on military installations. Uthlaut, herself a veteran, Gold Star spouse, and current military spouse, approached Weiner and Huneycutt to similarly connect and support this untapped professional military spouse labor pool on a broader scale, and together they developed the idea of a non-profit organization to support the spouses that Weiner and Huneycutt couldn’t hire directly. From early on in the group’s history, it worked collaboratively with the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes program to support military spouses in progressing or continuing their professional careers, which in turn supports retention of some of our best active duty troops.

In Gear Career was the first non-profit organization to provide local professional networking for military spouses experiencing permanent changes of station. IGC’s unique model targets the root causes of unemployment and underemployment for military spouses. Primarily, the frequent military moves (Permanent Changes of Station, or PCS) mean that spouses cannot build and sustain the professional network that is required for job searches, career progression, and natural mentorship opportunities. IGC’s local chapters around the world work, hand in hand with the community, to develop and sustain these professional networks across professional disciplines. When a spouse PCSes to a new location, they can immediately plug into the professional network in their chosen career field. In the past, spouses developed these networks at each duty station, and the contacts they made were not effectively available to other spouses coming in to the area, except on an ad-hoc basis.

“Military spouses aren’t looking for a hand-out; IGC is looking to ensure that spouses simply have a level playing field in seeking employment opportunities and career progression. Our programs, and particularly our local chapter model, seeks to make sure spouses can hit the ground running in each duty station with the network that is so critical to getting a professional-level job in today’s job market,” says Lauren Weiner, one of the founders of IGC and the Chair of the Board.

Donna Huneycutt points out that many military spouses today married into the military after developing professional careers–and often incurring significant student debt. “In addition to the local networking, we focus on educating employers about the talents of this labor pool and supporting military spouses so that they can port their careers with them after proving themselves on-ground. This means that they can pay back student loans, help support the family, and avoid forcing their active duty spouse to make career choices based on geography.”

IGC routinely worked with local Chambers of Commerce to build and sustain these networks. IGC also advocates for military spouse employment in local communities—including educating employers about the benefits of hiring spouses, and helping to highlight local opportunities from interested employers—through our relationships with local Chambers and other community organizations. “IGC makes personal introductions to hiring managers for specific open positions, instead of simply asking spouses to send their resumes in to a resume database. We find that the personal introduction ensures that spouses don’t get lost in the shuffle, particularly in larger companies,” says Amanda Crowe, Executive Director of IGC.

IGC also worked closely with the US Chamber of Commerce on national programs, including a toolkit for Government Service (GS) employment for spouses. Hiring Our Heroes is a successful program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, supporting efforts to employ veterans and military spouses. Earlier today, Hiring our Heroes announced that 2016 will be designated as “The Year of the Military Spouse” within their organization. The joining of In Gear Career and Hiring Our Heroes will enable us to expand our reach into the communities we serve and provide career development and networking opportunities at the grassroots level for military spouses and employers.

Elizabeth O’Brien, Director of the Military Spouse Program for Hiring Our Heroes, said: “I am so pleased to welcome In Gear Career and Amanda Crowe to Hiring Our Heroes. The merging of our two teams will immediately impact our ability to better serve military spouses and employers at the grassroots level, while providing networking opportunities, and professional development throughout the year.”

 

UPDATED: New Referral Opportunities for Military Spouse Professionals – USAA

 UPDATED 1-27-2016

 

 

 

 

Please Note: There are TWO opportunities in this announcement: Tampa & Phoenix. Please scroll all the way through to see both positions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Announcement #1

Company: USAA

Location: Tampa, FL

Job Overview: 

USAA is currently seeking talented Customer Service and Sales Representatives (Insurance Policy Service – Auto) for our Tampa, FL call centers. This position will have multiple start dates in March and April, 2016.

PURPOSE OF JOB

As a Banking and Insurance Solutions Representative (Insurance Policy Service – Auto) for USAA, you will provide member on-boarding, servicing and/or facilitation of product sales through various channels. Deepens and retains member relationships through needs assessment and solution offerings from USAA products and services.

JOB DUTIES

  • Gathers information and close on product sales demonstrating intermediate skills and knowledge of USAA products and benefits.
  • Identifies member events to provide solutions on products and close on product sales that meet the member’s needs and facilitate the member’s financial security.
  • Empathizes with members and provide offers & solutions to make it easy for members to acquire a USAA product.
  • In the Financial Center, interacts with members face to face to close on product sales.
  • Responds to and complete member requests.

TRAINING SCHEDULE

  • Full schedule availability is needed (Monday) – (Friday), 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
  • The total amount of training time lasts for 14 weeks, this includes New Employee Orientation, Licensing, Enterprise Knowledge, Pipeline training and On-the-job-training.
  • You must successfully complete a training program. USAA training programs include classroom instruction, computer-based lessons, and instructor-led activities with systems simulations.
  • Employees attending training are expected to meet USAA’s established standards for performance, attendance and conduct.

WORK SCHEDULE

  • Availability to work 40 hours/week between Monday – Saturday to include EVERY Saturday schedule up until 6:00 p.m.
  • A 30 percent Shift Premium pay would apply to work hours scheduled after 6pm, Mon-Fri & weekends.

Minimum Requirements

  • High School Diploma or GED equivalent.
  • 2 years of customer contact experience in a sales, military, or call center environment to include a minimum of 1 year frequent (e.g., daily) communications with customers via telephone, e-mail and/or face-to-face – or- Bachelors degree.
  • 1+ years experience multi-tasking in a Windows operating systems environment.
  • This position will require a Property and Casualty license. You must pass a licensing exam within a designated number of attempts and have the ability to become licensed in all applicable states. USAA will provide the study and training environment to assist you with the licensing exam.

Preferred

  • Bachelors degree
  • 2 years of customer contact experience in a Financial Services Call Center.
  • 6+ months experience frequently communicating (minimum 60 percent of the time) with customers by phone, e-mail, and/or face to face.
  • Experience cross selling or up-selling products.
  • Auto or Property Insurance experience.

 

Are you a Military Spouse interested in applying?

 

If you’re interested in applying for this position at USAA, please email us.

PLEASE NOTE: YOU MUST ALSO complete the online application process through USAA at the following link: http://bit.ly/1KbnlsQ

 

Announcement #2

Company: USAA

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Job Overview: 

Full Job Title: Customer Service and Sale Representative – (Insurance Policy Service – Auto)

USAA is currently seeking talented Customer Service and Sale Representative (Insurance Policy Service – Auto) for our Phoenix, Arizona call center. The start date for this position is February 1, 2016 and February 15, 2016.

PURPOSE OF JOB

As a Customer Service and Sale Representative (Insurance Policy Service – Auto) for USAA, you will provide member on-boarding, servicing and/or facilitation of product sales through various channels. Deepens and retains member relationships through needs assessment and solution offerings from USAA products and services.

JOB DUTIES

  • Gathers information and close on product sales demonstrating intermediate skills and knowledge of USAA products and benefits.
  • Identifies member events to provide solutions on products and close on product sales that meet the member’s needs and facilitate the member’s financial security.
  • Empathizes with members and provide offers & solutions to make it easy for members to acquire a USAA product.
  • In the Financial Center, interacts with members face to face to close on product sales.
  • Responds to and complete member requests.

TRAINING SCHEDULE

  • Full schedule availability is needed Monday – Friday, 8:00AM-4:30PM. The total amount of training time lasts for 10 weeks, this includes New Employee Orientation, Licensing, Enterprise Knowledge, Pipeline training and On-the-job-training.
  • You must successfully complete a training program. USAA training programs include classroom instruction, computer-based lessons, and instructor-led activities with systems simulations.
  • Employees attending training are expected to meet USAA’s established standards for performance, attendance and conduct.

WORK SCHEDULE

  • 1130am-8pm 5D40/ M-Sat (TWRF day off) Local time Zone-Time on Application.
  • A 30 percent Shift Premium pay would apply to work hours scheduled after 6pm, Mon-Fri & weekends.

Minimum Requirements

  • High School Diploma or GED equivalent.
  • 2 years of customer contact experience in a sales, military, or call center environment to include a minimum of 1 year frequent (e.g., daily) communications with customers via telephone, e-mail and/or face-to-face – or- Bachelors degree.
  • 1+ years experience multi-tasking in a Windows operating systems environment.
  • This position will require a Property and Casualty license. You must pass a licensing exam within a designated number of attempts and have the ability to become licensed in all applicable states. USAA will provide the study and training environment to assist you with the licensing exam.

Preferred

  • Bachelors degree.
  • 2 years of customer contact experience in a Financial Services Call Center.
  • 6+ months experience frequently communicating (minimum 60 percent of the time) with customers by phone, e-mail, and/or face to face.
  • Experience cross selling or up-selling products.
  • Auto or Property Insurance experience.

 

Are you a Military Spouse interested in applying?

 

If you’re interested in applying for this position with USAA, please email us.

PLEASE NOTE: You MUST also complete the online application process through USAA at the following link: http://bit.ly/1Q0pvfH

Chapter Spotlight: Tampa   

 

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As many of you know, Tampa, FL is our headquarters and it was one of the early chapters we started in 2013. In case you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be involved with one of our chapters, here is a breakdown of what 2015 looked like for In Gear Career – Tampa!

Let me start first by saying a huge thank you to USAA for being the sponsor of our Tampa chapter! We were so grateful they came on board this year to support us! We’d also like to send a big congratulations to USAA for being recognized as a finalist for the Hiring our Heroes Military Spouse Employment and Mentoring Award!

Here are the highlights from sunny Tampa!

January – We kicked off the year with a great chat about personal branding from Adrianna Domingos-Lupher of MSB NewMedia.

February – This was the month we officially announced our fabulous partnership with USAA and we dove head first into our wonderful LeanIn curriculum!

March – We continued with great discussions using our LeanIn curriculum.

April – April was an informal networking social.

June – June was another great networking social giving military spouse professionals the chance to meet one another and support each other as we welcomed many new faces (and saw some great ones leave) through PCS season!

August – Keeping in mind the new folks in the area, August focused on maximizing the local resources available for your job search.

September – In September the chapter dug into the “Art of Networking” because everyone has heard that to find your next big position you should take advantage of networking, but not everyone knows how exactly to dig in! Talking about these topics was also a strategic prep for our October schedule!

October – This month the chapter had the pleasure of taking part in three great events: a full day of networking with MOAA’s Keeping a Career on the Move® followed immediately by a networking reception with Hiring our Heroes on the 15th and on the 29th The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce focused their Business After Hours networking event on Veterans and Military Spouses. All of the events were a great way to meet other military spouse professionals, veterans and great members of the Tampa Community.

Many of our chapters follow the great pattern you see here – a mixture of professional development discussions, networking socials and community events to help the military spouse professionals currently living in Tampa meet their peers, learn about their community, and hopefully make connections that will lead to their next great career opportunity!

If you’d like to learn more about where our chapters are located and how you can get in touch with the lead in your area, please visit our Find a Local Chapter page!

Thank you again to USAA for sponsoring our Tampa Chapter (and more)!

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Big Announcement…Part Deux

(Drumroll, please)

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In Gear Career is beyond thrilled to announce that USAA has come on board as a corporate sponsor!

As a small nonprofit organization with big dreams, we are excited to be working with an organization like USAA that has been a leader in Military Spouse hiring for years. This sponsorship will help us to grow the number of our chapters and programs and expand our impact on behalf of military spouses.

Our expected growth is great news because this means more OPPORTUNITY—for you (and you! and you!)!! You probably already know that USAA is a big believer in hiring Military Spouses and veterans and through this sponsorship we are excited to help bring some of those opportunities directly to In Gear Career members. USAA has a presence in many of the same areas we have chapters, so we will work together to make sure military spouses can take advantage of the various positions and exciting programs USAA brings. Spouses in Hampton Roads, VA, Tampa, FL and Colorado Springs, CO: you guys are the lucky ones! The immediate focus of these efforts will start in your areas and expand from there. More information on those opportunities as the year progresses and this sponsorship grows.

So you might be wondering, why did USAA choose to team up with In Gear Career? RELATIONSHIPS. Our local chapter model, social engagement, and our demonstrated ability to create relationships between military spouse professionals and the local communities they’re living in RIGHT NOW is aligned to the USAA mission to serve those who serve—it’s a perfect fit! They are also seeking to elevate the conversation about military spouse employment and they want to strengthen their relationships with military spouse professionals. We plan to help them do just that.

Want to make sure you have the latest and greatest on these programs and our relationship with USAA? Have a friend in one of the focus areas listed above that needs to know more? Make sure you’re following In Gear Career and USAA on social media (links below) and sign up for the In Gear Career newsletter.

USAA                                                                In Gear Career

FB: www.facebook.com/USAA                         FB: www.facebook.com/InGearCareer

               @USAA                                                                @InGearCareer

                LinkedIn                                                                    LinkedIn

 

We are so excited to see how this partnership grows! A giant thank you to USAA for sponsoring In Gear Career!

 

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Executive Director

Job Referral: Integration/Systems Services Engineer

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Powerhouse Planning, a company In Gear Career has worked with many times in the past, is managing the pre-screening of candidates for the following position:

Company: Gromelski & Associates

Position: Integration/System Engineer

Location: Manassas, VA

Job Description:

Job Description:

Perform integration tasks merging complex hardware solutions with custom non-commercial software programs. The ideal candidate will be a proficient LINUX engineer to write scripts/utilities for the development of complex military systems. Install newly developed software enhancement and improvement packages. Isolate the source of system operational performance deficiencies to either software or hardware problems. Test, debug, and modify custom software applications as part of a team working an overall systems software development and improvement process. Success in this position requires an assertive, confident attitude and a commitment to working as a part of a team to meet critical delivery schedules.

Required Tasks:

  1. Debug, troubleshoot, and develop utilities to resolve software and hardware compatibility and operability issues.
  2. Experience implementing and customizing common commercial and open source tool suites.
  3. Perform and support system hardware assembly and software integration in a laboratory environment and at customer locations.
  4. Follow and execute procedures – installation, recovery, checkout, test, etc.
  5. Ability to work with software developers in their testing capabilities. Run unit tests and maintain/modify to establish code coverage while working directly with developers.

Required Skills:

  1. Strong experience at the Linux command line.
  2. Integrating software and hardware in complex systems.
  3. Strong communication skills with developers to explain integration/test results with developers.
  4. Candidate must be U.S. citizen able to obtain a DoD Secret level security clearance.

Highly Desirable Skills:

  1. Sound knowledge of Java/C++ development and how it relates to testing.
  2. Experience working in an Agile/Sprint release planning environment including depth of understanding of providing impact analysis on testing as Sprint and releases are introduced to the integration environment.
  3. Troubleshooting HW/OS/Drivers/Firmware/Network issues.
  4. Understanding of automated build processes/practices and code management techniques.
  5. Understanding of full system exposure and system wide activity – Integration testing across systems usage flow checks how one program integrates/impacts other components of the system.

Additional Requirements:

  1. Bachelor’s degree in related discipline or equivalent experience and one to five years professional experience.
  2. Willingness to work 2nd or 3rd
  3. Familiarity with Navy/Submarine operations is desirable.
  4. Willingness to work overtime.
  5. Proactive/self-starter.
  6. Task driven with ability to work independently.
  7. Team player that takes ownership and develops relationships with the team members which fosters team success.
  8. Occasional Travel Required

Are you a Military Spouse interested in applying?

 

If you’re interested in more information and an direct introduction to the person screening applicants, please email us.