Mar 28, 2022
This week, we welcome Susan Rietano Davey and Kelley Kelley Biskupiak, co-founders of Prepare 2 Launch U (PLTU), a learning company that provides instruction, inspiration, and community primarily to women and caregivers navigating work-life transitions along the continuum of life.
In 2020, FourBlock joined forces with PTLU to create a comprehensive, instructional career transition program for military spouses looking to return to work or pivot into new careers.
In this episode, Kelley and Susan are joined by Lisa Stern, Ed.D., FourBlock’s Director of Program Impact and Assessment and our podcast co-hosts: Lindsey Pollak, career and workplace expert, New York Times bestselling author, and FourBlock Board member; and Mike Abrams, FourBlock founder and Afghanistan veteran.
Over the course of the episode, Susan and Kelley discuss their professional backgrounds and how PTLU started, and the group discusses how the joint FourBlock-PTLU Military Spouse Career Readiness Program came to be, what they have learned together from working with military spouses, what the future of the program holds, and what it means to be ‘ready’ to apply to the program.
The FourBlock-PTLU Military Spouse Career Readiness Program features live video coaching, flexible online learning modules, and all the instruction, tools, and inspiration a military spouse will need to navigate her or his way to a meaningful career. Military spouses who complete the program also gain access to an expanded community of FourBlock alumni, employers, and instructors for additional networking and mentorship. The program is offered at no cost.
As career women and moms, too, PTLU co-founders Kelley and Susan have been helping women navigate work-life transitions for a combined 30 years.
Susan and Kelley met while speaking at a women’s conference in 2016. At the time, they were both independently consulting with companies and coaching a range of women (from seasoned professionals to young women navigating new motherhood) through life and career transition. Immediately, they felt a connection and knew that they could better help more women if they teamed up. So, the two joined forces first to share clients, then to run workshops, and, ultimately, to create the learning company Prepare to Launch U that provides instruction, inspiration, and community to women navigating work-life transitions along the continuum of life. Their original, signature online career re-entry course boasts students in 26 states and counting.
In just a few years, Prepare to Launch U has introduced multiple online and live instructional offerings including a first-of-its-kind online maternity leave planning course, a proprietary family leave planning course on the LinkedIn Learning platform, and widely popular live corporate workshops on Negotiating and Work-Life Synergy, to list just a few. Susan and Kelley regularly collaborate with universities and Fortune 500 companies, and they are sought-after speakers and moderators for conferences across the country.
Welcome to the FourBlock Podcast, a show that examines veteran career transition and the military-civilian divide in the workplace.
General Charles Krulak coined the term "Three Block War" to describe the nature of 21st-century military service defined by peace-keeping, humanitarian aid, and full combat.
But what happens next? Veterans are often unprepared to return home and begin new careers. We call this the Fourth Block.
FourBlock is a national non-profit that has supported thousands of transitioning service members across the nation in beginning new and meaningful careers.
Mike Abrams (@fourblock) is an Afghanistan veteran, founder of FourBlock, and author of two military transition books. He represents the military transition perspective.
Lindsey Pollak (@lindsaypollak) is a career and workplace expert and New York Times bestselling author of three career advice books. Lindsey represents the civilian perspective of this issue.
Veterans, explore new industries and make the right connections. Find a career that fits your calling. Join us at fourblock.org/
Sponsor our program or host a class to equip more of our veterans at fourblock.org/donate.
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Podcast episodes are produced and edited by the Columbia University Center for Veteran Transition and Integration.