By Debbie Gregory.
The Defense Department has announced a milestone for the Military Spouse Employment Partnership program. In just under five years, the program, launched by second lady Jill Biden, has now partnered with more than 300 employers.
The Military Spouse Employment Partnership program is an employment and career partnership that connects military spouses to partner organizations and companies who have made a commitment to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers.
While military spouses are well educated and highly qualified for a range of careers, they face a 25 percent unemployment rate and a 25 percent wage gap compared to their civilian counterparts. This program aims to close that gap.
Rosemary Williams, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy said, “This is such an exciting and important milestone for the program and for the thousands of military spouses around the world who search for meaningful employment and career opportunities.”
For many military spouses, frequent moves are often a barrier to finding and maintaining a rewarding career.
“The Military Spouse Employment Partnership addresses the employment challenges facing military spouses while providing partner employers with access to a pool of highly qualified military spouses,” Williams said.
Hiring military spouses is good business. Spouses bring hard-to-find values and skills to a wide range of fields, including education and training, health care and financial services. They are tech-savvy, adaptable, resilient, strong leaders, team players and effective under pressure.
The partnership includes corporations, small businesses and other organizations that post job openings on the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Career Portal, mentor military spouses and other employers, and provide employment data on military spouses hired.
The partnership is part of DoD’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities Program, which seeks to reduce the significant unemployment rate and wage gap currently experienced by military spouses.