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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 487-00
August 07, 2000

DOD CONFERENCE FOCUSES ON FAMILY READINESS

The Department of Defense will host a major conference on military family readiness in Phoenix, Ariz., Aug. 22-24, 2000. Featured speakers will include Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) Bernard Rostker, personal finance expert Ric Edelman, and internationally syndicated columnist Heloise.

"The goal of the conference is to teach strategies for creating self-sustaining communities for the active and Reserve forces that provide effective family support in day-to-day living, during deployments, and in times of crisis," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy) Victor Vasquez. Vasquez noted that the conference provides a natural follow-up to the themes and issues raised during the first annual Military Family Forum hosted by Secretary of Defense William Cohen May 30.

About 800 family program and policy staff, commanders and military family members are expected to attend the event. Conference sessions will focus on building self-reliance among military families, issues related to economic well-being and integrated service delivery systems.

Running concurrently with the conference will be the DoD Spouse Employment Summit, a series of work sessions designed to build a powerful course of action for improving military spouse employment assistance programs. About 200 conference attendees and guests are expected to participate in summit sessions.

"Spouse employment is an area of special concern to me, because of the impact family income has on retention," Vasquez said. "Through the summit, we will help DoD and the military departments become more powerfully positioned to take action in this area. We plan sessions on spouse preference, DoD pilot program results, and entrepreneurial resources offered by the Small Business Administration."

For additional information on the conference and its sessions, please visit the conference website at http://mfrc.calib.com/frc (no longer available) .

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