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Military Spouses Are Not getting Fair Treatment

unemployed

By Debbie Gregory.

According to an Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) report entitled, “The Force Behind the Force: A Business Case for Leveraging Military Spouse Talent,” military spouses are not faring as well as their civilian counterparts.

There are more than one million active duty, guard, and reserve military spouses, more than 15 million veterans’ spouses, and an estimated 5.8 million surviving spouses of veterans in the U.S.

Yet, military spouses are largely overlooked as part of a talent pipeline.

The IVMF report, sponsored by Syracuse University and funded by Prudential Financial, was launched July 14, 2016. It is the first in a series of three research papers as part of an overall study on military spouse employment.

The report revealed that female military spouses earn significantly less than their civilian female peers

It also found that military spouses have a significantly higher unemployment rate (almost three times as many) as their civilian peers. When looking for reasons why there is this disparity, the report found that it was due to factors such as frequent relocations,  a lack of childcare, and the responsibility of single-parenting due to the absence of their active duty spouse

But employers may be missing out if they choose not to hire military spouses. As a rule, they are educated, motivated to work, and have numerous attributes that are valuable in the workplace.

“This research highlights that military spouses bring a variety of business enhancing characteristics to the workplace–such as diversity, resilience, adaptability and high civic-engagement–and offers a compelling business case to recruit and hire them,” said Dr. Nick Armstrong, senior director of research and policy at IVMF.

Additionally, each year, military spouses provide billions of dollars worth of free labor through their volunteerism.

It is often said that military spouses also serve. Their impact on military readiness and retention is invaluable.
“Military spouses are a great source of talent and an integral part of our talent pipeline strategy,” said James Beamesderfer, vice president, Veterans Initiatives at Prudential. “We know that more than one third of them say they are unemployed or underemployed. We want to help turn that around by providing them with meaningful career opportunities. That’s why we’re working with the IVMF to fund the research and share best practices with other employers.”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Muster Assembles to Discuss Jobs For Military Veterans

muster

By Debbie Gregory.

More than 300 representatives of veteran employers attended a Starbucks’ hosted muster to discuss jobs for military veterans.

Starbucks and the Schultz Family Foundation brought participants together for their second muster, an Old English military term for the process of accounting for members of a unit, generally after a battle — to help with the transition from military service to civilian careers.

“Last time, we had about 150 people in attendance and one of the suggestions that we heard that resonated was that we need to broaden the conversation,” said Daniel Pitasky, executive director of the Schultz Family Foundation. “The idea was that each person who came to the last Muster would bring someone new to the conversation.”

The effort is a continuation of Starbucks’ commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2018.

Hiring veterans makes good business sense. Veterans have attributes that employers look for. They are leaders, committed to something greater than themselves. They understand diversity. They are able to accomplish a mission under the hardest of conditions.

Retired Army Gen. Ray Odierno said that while veterans are quick learners, they need assistance from their employers to close the military-civilian gap.

“We need the long-term civilian expertise within a company mentoring and helping veterans,” Odierno said.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who’s on the Starbucks board of directors, agreed that civilians and veterans need to get to know one another so that they can better understand each others culture.

In addition to addressing employing veterans, the subject of retention was at the top of the list.

JPMorgan Chase commissioned a study with the Center for a New American Security to survey companies about veteran retention. The results should be published around Veterans Day.

Another topic of discussion focused on employing military spouses.

Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families, said,“The very best thing you can give a transitioning veteran is a spouse with a job.”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.