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Release No: 349-95
June 23, 1995


The Department of Defense will sponsor a policy forum, "Creating Opportunities in the 21st Century", from June 27-29 to examine trends in the labor force and provide recommendations to policy makers on how to increase employment opportunities for military spouses. Ms. Carolyn Becraft, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Personnel Support, Families and Education) is sponsoring the forum at the Ramada Hotel Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia.

"Employment is identified as a top concern of military spouses," Becraft said. "Research shows that approximately 65% of military spouses are in the labor force."

Approximately 45 participants will attend the forum representing academia, corporate America, the Departments of Labor and State, Congressional staff, military commanders and military spouses.

Highlights of the forum include a keynote address entitled "Breaking the Glass Ceiling for Women and Minorities" by Ms. Sheila Wellington at noon on June 27. Ms. Wellington is president of Catalyst, a national, not-for-profit organization on women's leadership in the private sector. Also on the 27th, Ms. Sheryl Silver, a nationally syndicated career columnist for the Washington Post, will present a session on emerging trends in the workplace. This is important data since recent survey information reveals that 41% of enlisted and 43% of officer spouses believe there are a lack of jobs which require their training experience and skills. The forum will also feature a panel of research experts to address the link between military spouse employment and member readiness and retention.

Other forum speakers include Dr. Diane Disney, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Civilian Personnel and Policy) who will address federal employment opportunities for the next century. Ms. Lillian Eby of the University of Tennessee, will brief recent research

focusing on dual career couples and mobile marriages. Ms. Cornelia Moore of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor, will provide an overview of labor market trends. Ms. Kim Anderson of Mobil Oil, Inc. will address how her company assists spouses facing frequent relocation.

Media wishing to cover the forum should contact Mr. Dennis Klauer, Directorate for Defense Information, 703-695-0192.

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