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AFRC receives grant from the AFAS

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- The 28th Force Support Squadron Airman & Family Readiness Center received a grant from the Air Force Aid Society to help military spouses receive education in the nursing career field. Fifteen spouses from Ellsworth Air Force Base were awarded the grant.

This is the second year in a row that the 28th FSS AFRC has received the grant. This grant is offered exclusively to military spouses so they can receive training in career fields that can easily transfer to new states as they follow their active-duty spouse's career.

“This year, we found out we are getting the largest grant in the Air Force here at Ellsworth,” said Jeffery Hollinshead, the 28th FSS AFRC community readiness technician.

The AFRC has partnered with Western Dakota Tech to provide a duel certification course that provides an opportunity for spouses to earn certifications as a certified nursing assistant and medical assistant, Hollinshead explained.

This grant allows spouses a chance to work toward a degree in a competitive field, and it’s completely free to all who were selected.

“What’s great about this training is that it’s all encompassing,” Hollinshead said. “We were able to get a grant that is sizable enough to pay for scrubs, books, training, certification tests and the rest of the process. This is a great opportunity for spouses that are looking for that career, and now they are going to get into it free of charge.”
Brandy Wyatt, the AFRC director, is excited to have the grant awarded to Ellsworth AFB once again.

“This is a great opportunity because spouses have to go where the military takes them, and with this grant, they can get a job wherever life takes them,” said Wyatt. “Being the transient individuals they are, they usually have to leave their jobs when their spouses got to a different location. We try to give them a chance to get a job here or anywhere they go.”

Being a military spouse has its own challenges, and it can be difficult to job search at each new location they move to. Having an easily transferrable certification means there’s one less stressor on the military spouse and, ultimately, less stress on the family.

“This will absolutely make families grow stronger,” Hollinshead said. “The spouse now has an opportunity to make a living and contribute. In relationships, finances are often times one of the things that create problems.”
Having a grant this size can also be helpful to Ellsworth AFB and the community. It has the potential to build up a stronger workforce in the area.
“I am excited to have this grant and to get people into the workforce in a great career field,” Hollinshead said. “We have an opportunity to show what we, here at the AFRC, are doing to help our people.”

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