FORT SILL, Okla. -- When an Army family arrives at their duty station the Soldier signs into his or her unit and goes to work. For the spouse, finding work may not be as easy. The Department of Defense's Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program, or MyCAA, is trying to solve that problem by offering a grant of up to $4,000 for spouses to train in portable career fields. "The DoD came up with the program because they know spouses PCS from one location to another. They may have had an excellent job wherever they were before and they're trying to get a job in their career field and finding that doesn't always happen or the pay isn't always the same," said Barbara Warren, Meditec program adviser for Lawton-Fort Sill. Meditec is one of many companies that joined the MyCAA program. Warren said their goal is to give spouses opportunities to take their career field with them as they move with the military. Meditec's website states military spouses deserve a high quality education that leads to an in-demand career -- a career that's portable so relocation never gets in the way of reaching their goals.
"We do understand that you are a part of the military as well. Sometimes people only stay for two years and then they're up again, or they're PCSing every three years, and it makes it kind of hard to have that solid employment background," said Warren. To qualify the person must be the spouse of an active duty service member in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2, or the spouse of an activated Guard or Reserve member within those ranks. Spouses of Guard and Reserve members must be able to start and complete their courses while their sponsor is on Title 10 orders. Warren said the programs offer full- and part-time hours and the training is self-paced. She said it is perfect for the person looking to work from home and stay with his or her children or for someone who just wants to try something new. "It gives them the opportunity to maybe change into the medical field. The medical field is not going anywhere, it's wide open," said Warren. A MyCAA account covers tuition for associate degree programs and vocational training courses that lead to licensing and/or industry certifications. It includes state certifications for teachers, medical professionals and other occupations requiring recognized certifications; licensing exams and related prep courses; continuing education unit classes including those offered through professional associations; and degree programs leading to employment in portable career fields. MyCAA also pays for high school completion courses, GED tests and English as a second language classes. "Everything is up front. We want you to use the grant. You don't have to pay the grant back so why not get something you may have been thinking about for several years that maybe you didn't have the opportunity to go forth with?" asked Warren. "There is an opportunity to do really, really well and still be able to cook dinner for your family and stay home with the kids." Programs offered through Meditec Legal combo Legal transcription Medical billing Medical billing and coding Medical coding Medical office assistant Medical office manager Medical transcription Medical transcription and coding Medical transcription, billing and coding Paralegal assistant Paralegal Pharmacy technician Business administration Administrative assistant Accounting clerk Office clerk Customer service representative Real estate program (This program is only available in Texas, Washington, California, Florida and Georgia) Program combinations (1) Pharmacy technician certification and customer service representative (2) Pharmacy technician certification and administrative assistant (3) Paralegal and administrative assistant (4) Medical transcription amd accounting clerk (both transcriptions are work at home, and accounting will help with home business operations.) (5) Legal transcription and account clerk (6) Medical billing, coding and accounting (7) Medical office assistant and administrative assistant. For more information, call Warren at 808-754-6960 or email at meditecbarbyahoo.com.