Virtual Employment Academy provides mobile career opportunities for military spouses


batanya gipson, military educator, Project Coordinator, Military Contract Programs, for the center for military and veterans education at TCCResearch shows that military spouses, and particularly military wives, are unemployed at greater levels than their peers of equal educational and socioeconomic levels. Because of this, the military has made it a priority to create job opportunities for military spouses, including access to career-oriented training through programs such as MyCAA.

One of the issues military spouses have to deal with that their civilian peer group likely does not, is the constant moving and relocating that comes with the military lifestyle. This can make it difficult to grow a career in a particular industry when the length of time at any one job may be as little as two to five years.

In an effort to help with this, some community colleges are looking for ways to help military spouses pursue careers that can travel with them. The need and desire for mobile careers are creating a generation of virtual entrepreneurs – people who make a living with a skill, product or service they provide online, no matter where they are in the world.

Here in Hampton Roads, Tidewater Community College will be launching its Virtual Employment Academy (VEA) in the fall of 2015. This online program is open to all students, but was designed with the military spouse in mind. The ten week program also gives students the opportunity to achieve several credentials including TCC’s Virtual Professional Certificate, ACT’s National Career Readiness Certificate and the American Management Association’s Administrative Professional Certificate.

Course topics include:

  • Beginning a virtual business, business planning and legal issues
  • Identifying virtual-ready skills
  • Managing priorities and time
  • Professional writing and business communication
  • Customer service
  • Project Management

Course registration starts this summer, with the class starting in September 2015. Class size is limited, so visit their website today for more information and to get enrolled.

Batanya Gipson is a project coordinator for military contract programs at Tidewater Community College’s Center for Military and Veterans Education. Gipson worked for several years at Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges and as an education specialist and lecturer at Hampton University College of Education and Continuing Studies, where she advised military and civilian students. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and english from Georgetown University and a master’s of education in adult education and a graduate certificate in distance education from Penn State University. Gipson is a U.S. Marine Corps spouse.

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