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Partnership Links Military Spouses With Employers

By Terri Moon Cronk
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2011 – The Defense Department is launching a new partnership next week that’s intended to expand job opportunities for military spouses by connecting them with employers actively seeking to hire them.

Microsoft, Home Depot, Starbucks and the Navy Federal Credit Union are just a few of the nearly 60 corporations and companies that have signed on with the DOD partnership, said Robert L. Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy.

When the partnership is launched June 29 at the Chamber of Commerce here, Gordon expects 14 more companies will be added to the partnership’s roster.

“The design of this program is to bring together those spouses who want to work with a web portal where companies that would like to employ our military spouses can find them,” he said.

That web portal is Military OneSource -- located at http://www.militaryonesource.com -- which also offers job-seeking resources such as resume building. People can call OneSource consultants at 1-800-342-9647.

The partnership is based on memoranda of agreement to hire military spouses, Gordon explained. Some 100 job fairs are scheduled, starting in Los Angeles on July 10, with 200 companies ready to offer jobs to spouses.

“Military spouses bring a lot to the table,” he said. “They’ve volunteered and lead different activities on and off our installations. They are skilled, diverse, and know how to operate in a team environment.”

Their sense of team focus and strong work ethic are some of the attributes and characteristics employers are looking for in a 21st century work force, he added.

Military spouses have been hit hard by the job market, Gordon acknowledged, and face an unemployment rate of 28 percent.

Of the military’s 1.2 million spouses, he said, 80 percent want to work, but have been held back by multiple moves and deployments. Additionally, a 25-percent wage gap divides military spouses and their civilian counterparts, he added.

Because of those factors, the partnership pinpointed organizations that could offer telework options and portable jobs, he said.

In the course of setting up the program’s framework, Gordon has asked spouses what they would like to see in such a partnership.

“One of them said, ‘Don’t over-engineer things. We want to look for jobs. We want to be empowered,’” he said. “And that’s what we’ve done. We’ve devised a program that will bring spouses together with employers who are looking for their skills.”

The partnership is aligned with the White House’s governmentwide approach to military family support that involves an interagency effort to strengthen families and enhance their well-being and quality of life.


Contact Author

Robert L. Gordon III

Related Sites:
Military OneSource
AFPS' Family Matters Blog


Article is closed to new comments.

The opinions expressed in the following comments do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Defense.

6/30/2011 4:17:35 PM
Military Spouse Preference could be its own separate category for hiring. It shouldn't be limited to a number of days following arrival at a new location, if we just moved from overseas or be based upon the current "status" or "disability" of our service member. However, extra "points" provided for those categories would be absolutely reasonable. This is not a "gimmie" or entitlement. It just shows that the US GOVERNMENT will put it's money where its mouth is...and do exactly what they are asking Corporate America to do and HIRE SPOUSES!
- Sam , Oklahoma

6/26/2011 10:50:24 PM
This partnership initiative like any other program such as the Military Spouse Preference sounds too good to be true. In reality, majority of the jobs made available to spouses are entry level positions. It is time to address the fact that there are also military spouses seeking corporate and/or civil service positions at a professional/management level (example: spouses with postgraduate degrees).
- Rosette Obedoza, San Diego, California

6/24/2011 9:28:09 AM
Great point. AAFES, The commissary and other employment agencies on post should focus on hiring eligible spouse who meet all criteria prior to hiring anyone else
- jean jacob, Fort Gordon

6/23/2011 12:48:47 PM
I think what frustrates alot of military wives in this area is that it is so hard to get a job on post. If you are a military spouse and you need a job, and there are jobs on post we should be the first people looked at for the position. But instead we arent. I think it is horrible.
- Mallory, Ft Bliss Tx

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