A new 6-week travel career fellowship program for spouses
According to the Department of Defense there are approximately 641,639 spouses of active duty service members that face a 24% – 34% unemployment rate. Military spouses are more highly educated than most working Americans. A survey conducted by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation show that 88% have some post-high school education, 34% have a college degree, and 15% have a postgraduate degree (see full report).
“Military spouses have to get it done or we fail. And we refuse to fail.” – Bonnie Amos, former Lady of the U.S. Marine Corps and Hiring Our Heroes Senior Advisor.
The Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Fellowship Program (MSFP) is a cutting-edge initiative that provides military spouses with professional training, networking, and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. The professional development and direct connection to local employers offered through the 6-week program enable military spouses to build their networks and gain localized job experience quickly. Participating host companies gain access to a highly skilled and educated talent pool.
As a veteran and business owner, I was excited to learn about the Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Fellowship Program (MSFP).” WorkReady360 is proud to participate in HOH’s efforts to increase the employment of active-duty spouses and veterans. Our goal is to hire and train 100 spouses over the next 6 months, offering them full time virtual and portal careers in the travel & hospitality industry.
WorkReady360’s cornerstone TravelAgent360⎮Engage program offers the military community careers as home-based and salaried travel agent career opportunities.
The travel agency industry is starting to see a significant demand for new travel agents, and over the next five years will begin to affect the bottom line of agencies. From a large scale, online travel sites to corporate travel management companies (TMCs), a primary cost of doing business is the travel agent.
Fifty percent of the current pool of agents are past the age of fifty. And as they start to retire, travel more, and work less hours a chasm for newly qualified agents is widening. Plus, technology and innovation is creating a new type of traveler with specific needs when it comes to booking travel.
“I participated in the TravelAgent360 program two years ago and now work full-time from home for two different travel agencies.”Military Spouse, Army.
Spouse attributes match the new travel agent.
- Are in their prime years of earning potential
- Embrace technology as a means of efficiency
- Relocate domestically and internationally
- Well-versed in travel destinations
- High-level of diverse social networking skills
- Great communicators, troubleshooters, and logistic experts
The active-duty spouse mirrors the characteristics and attributes of a travel agent. Especially the understanding of how mobile technology increases the efficiencies of their highly logistic driven lifestyle. According to a travel survey conducted by MilitaryToGo.com, spouses plan the family vacations and by default, act as the travel agent. They know the importance of planning travel and have perfected the science of ‘getting it right.’
“I know the importance of ensuring our family vacations are carefully planned and I am up-to-date on our reservations. The military can cancel our leave at any time and knowing how to navigate the airline system is important.”Active Duty Spouses, and part-time travel agent.
Travelers are booking their travel in non-traditional ways and expect a high level of customer support. Mobile travel apps, such as Hopper.com, enables customers to save money and travel more through their predictive airfare tracker.
According to Hopper, travel agents are the face of the company. “We want people who genuinely love going above and beyond to keep customers loyal and happy.”
The Hiring For Heroes has allowed WorkReady360 to expand our footprint in the travel industry. Our focus is to prepare spouses and veterans to be entry-level travel agents. Our curriculum prepares them to be of immediate value to travel agencies, both as GDS and customer support agents. The online and mobile travel market is growing significantly, selling millions of airline tickets and hotel nights each year. And behind every reservation is a travel agent.
Our ability to train and outsource travel agents in 6-weeks brings extraordinary value to travel agencies. According to HOH, their program saves, on average, $5,000 in training and onboarding costs per new hire. The narrow profit margins in the travel industry demand work-ready agents that can immediately bring value, day one.
Don Buynack, owner and President of OptionsTravel explains, “we spend triple the hourly wage to pay after-hour agents to monitor reservation. We are beginning to transition to hiring Andrew’s team of spouses located in various time zones to cover our evening hours.”
WorkReady360’s focus is not only on travel agent system training but on foundational and soft skills. Troubleshooting, communication, customer service, and attention to detail can reduce misspelled names and incorrect entries, eliminating refunds or fines from the airlines. Our goal is to save the agency money by providing them access to extraordinary talent. And at the same time creating great careers to the military community. It is a win-win.
To learn more about how a spouse or veteran can register with Hiring Our Heroes visit, WorkReady360.com/hoh for more information.