Welcome to The Rosie Project

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We’re finally rolling!

About The Rosie Project

How we started:

In May of 2021, on the day-to-day grind at Northrop Grumman, Amanda McCrea and I was having a conversation about how difficult it is for military spouses to get jobs after PCS-ing with their significant others. She expressed that she knew people who changed their addresses just to get a job off base, due to companies not wanting to commit to developing an individual who was going to be PCS-ing in 2 years. Amanda emphasized how the barrier of entry to jobs that could move with military spouses also added to the issue, making it hard to justify starting a career somewhere she loved without the worry of needing to leave that industry once she needed to move. I knew this would take a village, knowing my history in the DoD of trying to drive transformation and collaboration within the software world. Fast forward to 2023, while working together at Catalyst Campus Ogden together, Amanda and I found that village would drive the opportunity to remove the barriers on entry into tech for military spouses and build a program to enable the advancement of military spouses alongside our Airmen and Airwomen’s military career. That village included:
    • Beth Rhoades from Weber State University could build a program to support Information Technology courses that would benefit the Department of Defense.
    • James Taylor from Weber State jumped at the opportunity to find a grant to help launch this initiative.
    • Partners in the 309th Software Engineering Group at Hill Air Force Base who worked to build a direct pathway from interns to full-time IT Specialists.
    • Local Utah sponsors would donate resources and equipment.
We had seen first-hand the challenges and barriers that military spouses faced when balancing PCS moves with their own career development, education, and family stability. Additionally, the impact this has on career pathways for military spouses can be very limiting. When this memo was released, it got us thinking as a group of Air Force civilians, military spouses, and leaders in academia, about what could we do to help alleviate these challenges. The Rosie Project idea originated from a need in the DoD to remove barriers of entry for military spouses and ensure they have lucrative careers when and where they may PCS. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. and his wife Sharene Brown wrote the following memo to the spouses of the Air Force:

Dear Air Force Spouses,

Thank you for your courage and strength, and for being part of our Air Force family. Those in uniform are easily recognized for their service and sacrifices, but it’s you…the unsung heroes of our Air Force who sacrifice so much to support your family, the Air Force, and our nation. As spouses, you are all too familiar with one of our Air Force’s core values: Service Before Self. We know you provide our Airmen with the foundation to carry out the Air Force mission anytime, anywhere — thank you! Additionally, we owe a special debt to those of you who are currently serving, or who have previously served in uniform — you have a unique outlook that we value. As the 22nd Chief of Staff and spouse, taking care of Airmen and families is our top priority — a true no-fail mission. Your drive, dedication and commitment makes a tremendously positive impact on the Air Force. Each of you makes a difference every day! We are honored to serve with you and offer our heartfelt thanks for all that you do. Sincerely, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. and Sharene Brown

Who am I?

I’m Aniza Brown. I come from an electrical engineering background, with experience supporting software engineering and weapon systems sustainment in the Air Force prior to becoming the Executive Director for Catalyst Campus, Ogden Utah. Furthermore, I’ve believed that more that needed to be done to address the barriers and challenges faced by military spouses and their careers. As a disrupter in tech, it is important to create change because I can. I am driving this change now because I am in a position where I can make changes with partners I have made in Aerospace and Defense. I believe great things are ahead of us. But this isn’t about me.
Welcome to The Rosie Project

What is the Rosie Project?

The Rosie Project aims to achieve one purpose: Removing Barriers For Military Spouses

As a military spouse, you serve right alongside our airmen and airwomen with every PCS, deployment, and TDY. The Rosie Project is dedicated to empowering military spouses to harness their potential through an Information Technology career, so they can advance alongside their spouse’s military career.

Program Structure

The Rosie Project is a free-to-attend, 6-month, paid Information Technology internship program for military spouses (men and women). Moreover, we have this is in collaboration with Weber State University and Hill Air Force Base. What’s more, military spouses attend courses that are specific to the needs of the Department of Defense. Additionally, these courses will prepare them to pass IT Certifications and transition to a full-time position at Hill AFB. Upon the completion of the program, the cohort transitions from interns to full-time positions at Hill AFB. In fact, these positions are often in high demand at any future installation where the service member will be assigned. Moreover, we took a great deal of feedback and realized that for many childcare was a limiting factor. Especially, if there was travel or long commuting involved. In fact, to eliminate this concern we have ensured that daycare is provided for parents with young children on in-person class days.

Objectives and Outcomes

The partnership with Weber State has opened up institutional resources from a university. That also has a long history and close ties to military members at Hill AFB in Utah. Additionally, our initial curriculum for the program is focused on achieving the CompTIA Network+ and Security+ certifications. The program also includes digital certifications from Weber State University in Communication in the Workplace and Workplace Writing. Finally, upon completion of the program and all of the certifications, you will go into full-time employment. We have partnered with the 309th Software Engineering Group (SWEG) to fast-track into a full-time role as a GS/ Department of the Air Force Civilian employee. You can learn more about this job series here: GS-2210: Information Technology Management Series.

Applying for the Rosie Project and Logistics to Consider

To be eligible for the program you need to be a military spouse (current or former). Who is present for the entire 6-month curriculum in Ogden, Utah? In addition, you need to be a US Citizen, a high-school graduate, and have the ability to obtain a US security clearance. Lastly, you do not need a post-secondary degree or any previous IT experience. To apply go to: https://www.rosieproject.org/program What’s more, The Rosie Project will provide participants with the computer hardware to take and complete the program. In-person sessions will be in Ogden, Utah at either the Catalyst Campus location at WSU Downtown or on campus at Weber State University. While you are participating in this internship program, you are a paid employee of the 309th SWEG!

National Schedule

Dates Activities and Tasks
February 27 Workplace Readiness Learn how to leverage your strengths and weaknesses to propel your career and to artfully secure your next position through resume and interview development. Serve as a leader in DEI and foster healthy work culture by learning different techniques and skills to manage anxiety, imposter syndrome, and conflict resolution.
April 3-7 No Class Spring Break
April 10 Network+ Prepare for your Network+ certification exam as a Rosie Project cohort using CompTIA and Weber State University preparation resources.
May 1 Security+ Prepare for your Security+ certification exam as a Rosie Project cohort using Weber State University resources and coaching
May 17 Take the Exam Become certified in Network+ and Security+
June-July Oral Communication Earn badges in oral communication, detail orientation, problem-solving, and conflict management. Discuss real-world applications of these skills from industry experts and hear their experiences.
August 1 Graduation!
Notional Schedule for Spring Cohort

Onward and Upward!

We look forward to taking this thing to new heights and learning as we go. We are so excited for the program to finally begin. If you are interested, please contact us. You can find me on LinkedIn and at Catalyst Campus Ogden. Also, check out the Silicon Slopes Aerospace and Defense Chapter to see how the tech community in Utah is becoming a major force in the industry.
Welcome to The Rosie Project
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