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Family Matters Blog: Program Opens Doors to Spouse Employment

By Elaine Sanchez
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 23, 2011 – With multiple moves and deployments to contend with, military spouses face considerable challenges when it comes to maintaining or advancing their careers.

They also come up against the high unemployment rate for military spouses -- 28 percent, according to Defense Department officials. And, there’s a 25-percent wage gap compared to their civilian counterparts to consider. Yet, more than 80 percent of military spouses want to work, officials said, and bring much-needed skills to the table, such as team focus and a strong work ethic.

In the hopes of expanding job opportunities for spouses, the DOD is launching a new partnership June 29 that will connect spouses with employers actively seeking to hire them. Nearly 60 corporations and companies already have signed on with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, and 14 more are set to sign on next week.

As part of the program, spouses will be able to search for prospective employers online at Military OneSource or by calling OneSource at 1-800- 342-9647. In addition, they are invited to attend one of the 100 scheduled job fairs taking place around the country in the coming months, with the first to take place in Los Angeles on July 10.

For more on this partnership, read my American Forces Press Service colleague Terri Moon Cronk’s article “Partnership Links Military Spouses With Employers.”

I plan to attend the partnership’s launch next week in downtown Washington, D.C. Be sure to check the Family Matters blog for all the details.

 

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