By Sharon Foster
American Forces Press Service
Jan. 30, 2009 - A major health care provider in the suburbs here is teaming up with the Defense Department to help military members and spouses pursue medical careers. The Fairfax, Va.-based Inova Health System is expanding its partnership with the department to provide training for military spouses and severely injured servicemembers seeking jobs in the health care industry, Daniel Nichols, director of Inova recruitment, said.
Inova plans to launch a virtual career center on their Web site by March that will "help address the busy lives of military spouses and families by offering free, online training that leads directly to jobs inside a long-term career track in a growing industry," Nichols said.
Not only will the center attract military talent into the health care profession, but it also will help retain that talent by assisting in job transition and providing guidance to clarify career steps along the way, Nichols said.
The free training in a virtual setting will free up other Inova organizations to help the effort in other ways, such as awarding scholarships and certifications, he said.
The virtual career center will reserve 1,000 openings for military spouses to take classes in computer literacy skills and Microsoft Office software training that could lead to careers in health administration, health information technology or clinical technology, Nichols said.
The center is adding career guidance information, skill gap analysis and, by the end of the year, will have a talent-exchange section where transitioning military families will be able to connect with affiliated employers to secure jobs prior to their moves, he said.
Inova is funding the initial classes, building the content and overseeing operations of the center.
Late last year, Inova launched a regional initiative called CareerSTAT, which combines the military spouse efforts with training geared toward wounded warriors and, more specifically, those with traumatic brain injury.