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May 31, 2012 12:49 AM by Jacqui Heinrich

Educated and unemployed: Hiring Our Heroes

She's been unemployed for two years, taking up volunteer work in hopes of finding a job while her husband serves in Afghanistan. She's a face of the Hiring Our Heroes program.

"Why won't someone recognize that I'm capable, I'm qualified, I'm able, and I want to! And give me the experience?" Nicole Harrison Inabinet says. She has three masters degrees and spent the past twelve years working in toxicology: jobs at the World Health Organization, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the FDA. "The only one I'm missing is a PhD."

Yet, two years after moving to Colorado Springs with her husband, now deployed in Afghanistan, she's still jobless like many highly educated military spouses. "They're not being afforded interview opportunities because they're overqualified," Inabinet says.

Not the type to let circumstance take control, she's evolving. "I've had to rebrand myself and look at my resume, look at my professional experience and background and extract those unique, transferrable or portable skills. It can be disaster management, it could be health and safety coordinating, who knows."

Inabinet is using every avenue available to find a new direction; she's volunteering at the Public Health Department, the American Cancer Society, and even helping others find jobs. "It actually makes the entire search process much easier. It gives you purpose."

At Wednesday's Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Job Fair, Inabinet will spend the morning helping other military spouses find employment, then reverse roles and apply herself. Her hope: "Land a position that's commensurate with my experiences and qualifications," Inabinet says.

For now, she's watching the light at the end of the tunnel grow brighter, saying, "Trust in God every step. He's gonna open the right door...so I'm expecting, waiting patiently."

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