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Workforce Investment Act helps civilians/spouses affected by BRAC

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE NM -- Military spouses and civil service civilians affected by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) decision, Reduction in Forces Board (RIF), or those spouses who leave their job to accompany their spouse to a new duty station may be eligible for unemployment insurance, continuing education and/or on the job training to assist them in re-entering the workforce.

The New Mexico Workforce Connection Center in Clovis and Portales, through a special partnership with the Air Force community, works with eligible job seekers to provide access to employment and training assistance tailored to obtain and maintain meaningful employment. Participants must choose an in demand career field with an expected local growth rate of 22 percent or more. Those who qualify may be eligible for up to 104 semester weeks of education/training through an approved provider.

"There is a lot of money in the pot, but not a lot of people are aware of it," said Josie Guzman, Military Spouse Advocate, of the Eastern Area Workforce Development Board. "Many spouses who leave a job due to a permanent change of station often do not realize they may be able to obtain unemployment compensation, depending on the state statute. Additionally, those spouses, as well as civilian employees notified of a layoff, may be eligible for education and training assistance.

"We want to encourage those spouses who left their jobs to come to Cannon, are leaving their jobs to PCS due to the new mission, and those civilian personnel notified of a lay off to contact the Department of Labor to inquire about unemployment insurance and to contact the New Mexico Workforce Connection Center to determine if they are eligible for education and training assistance," Mrs. Guzman said.

There is no charge for the eligibility screening or for any of the workforce services, which also may provide assistance with childcare, transportation, work related expenses and other training and support services.

For more information on these services or applications for the program, visit www.connections.nm.org or contact the New Mexico Workforce Connection at one of the following locations:
Clovis -- 1401 N. Main Street
Portales -- 100 S. Ave. A, Suite 110