FORT DRUM, NY – The Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation is hiring, and there are multiple job opportunities for community members looking to join the diverse, professional workforce at Fort Drum.
The positions range from entry-level to upper management in the child care, recreation and food service divisions.
“Our team’s mission is to provide programming and services that enhance the quality of life of our Soldiers and their families, as well as the entire Fort Drum community,” said Sharon Addison, Fort Drum FMWR director. “We have the ability right now to hire motivated and hard-working civilians to join our team. And, more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, I think it’s an appropriate time to promote hiring since a lot of people are looking for, or are transitioning to, new job opportunities.”
Robin Moore, Fort Drum Child and Youth Services (CYS) coordinator, said that job-seekers may find federal service a rewarding experience as she had when she first applied as a CYS program assistant in 1988.
“I worked my way up the ranks through the training program and with the help of the management team who want you to be successful,” she said. “From my experience, I know that there is real career advancement potential with an organization that will value who you are and will help you move up the ranks if you so desire.”
Within CYS, there are openings for program assistants at all of the child development centers, as well as a program operations specialist. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the critical need for on-post child care to sustain the 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum mission.
“Throughout the pandemic, we were still able to provide child care services to our mission-essential Soldiers, civilians and family members,” Moore said.
Philip Kitzko, FMWR Business Operations officer, said that they were able to retain all of their employees during the pandemic by offering tele-working and other options. He said that they were fortunate, whereas many restaurant, small business and theater employees outside the gates faced unemployment.
“Even when a lot of our operations had to shut down temporarily, everyone here still got paid,” Kitzko said. “Instead of laying people off and causing people to lose jobs, we kept them employed. So that’s important when you’re thinking about job security.”
In fact, FMWR continued to hire throughout the pandemic.
JoAngela Migdal, Nonappropriated Fund (NAF) Human Resources officer, said that Fort Drum FMWR filled 142 positions since last March, and the average time from job offer to the employee’s first day was three weeks.
“There was no layoff because of COVID-19 or any requirements to reduce our workforce,” she said. “And there should be additional job vacancies posted in the near future as well. We tell people to check the USAJobs.gov website at least every three days so they don’t miss out on an opportunity.”
Rebecca Morgia, FMWR Community Recreation Division chief, said that the reopening of fitness facilities at limited capacities during the pandemic provided much-needed physical and mental wellness opportunities for service members. As COVID-19 restrictions loosened on post, facility capacity increased with safety protocols in place and hours expanded for family members and civilian employees.
“We have multiple recreation assistant positions open, and that ranges from lifeguards and swim instructors to Outdoor Recreation and fitness facility assistants,” Morgia said. “The majority of our vacancies right now focuses on the fitness and aquatics programs, but I anticipate more positions being available in the coming weeks.”
Morgia said that many of the FMWR openings offer competitive pay and benefit packages. Some CYS positions provide on-the-job training so employees can earn a child development associate credential. Program assistants also receive a 10-percent employee discount for child care and first placement of their child in one of the CDCs. Employees also have access to all FMWR facilities, such as the gyms, the bowling center and library.
Migdal said that military spouses applying for a NAF-3 position or below receive hiring preference and they can maintain employment with FMWR at their next duty station through the Civilian Employee Assistance Transfer Program (CEAT).
Kitzko said that he often asked new employees during orientation sessions what they thought was FMWR’s most valuable asset. He heard many different responses, but the one he sought was “People.”
“Without our people, FMWR cannot provide the quality-of-life services to the Soldiers and their families,” he said. “Without our people, we can’t have the ability to positively impact their lives.”
Kitzko said that FMWR employees have frontline opportunities to provide meaningful services and activities for military families every day.
“It’s very important for me, when I communicate with new employees and my team, to help them understand that what they do has third-, fourth-, fifth-order effects,” he said. “It’s not just taking a food order and bringing out a meal and a check. It’s more than a transaction, it’s about relationships.”
FMWR job announcements are posted at www.usajobs.gov and applicants can search “Fort Drum” to read job descriptions and requirements.
Migdal said that the application process is not complicated, and the website has a Help Center to guide applicants with specific questions.
Additionally, the Fort Drum Employee Readiness Program and Civilian Personnel Advisory Center will host an online community-based seminar from 9 a.m. to noon April 29. Attendees can learn about the federal job application process and the documents required. The seminar also reviews best practices for writing a federal resume.
The Zoom meeting is accessible at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88074398496?pwd=TmllcW5hZFZ2eldFL3l6ZHpRcm5uUT09. To join, use Meeting ID 880 7439 8496, and Passcode 995216.