As a service member, my job is where the military sends me. It’s quite a different story for military spouses. Frequent moves are often a barrier to finding and maintaining a rewarding career. I know that those of us in uniform share the belief that our spouses deserve every opportunity to choose and pursue a career that is personally and professionally rewarding. That’s why I am proud of the Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership.
The Military Spouse Employment Partnership, or MSEP, expands career opportunities for military spouses among companies that are eager to hire them. It provides companies direct access to military spouses seeking career opportunities and connects spouses to employers who are actively recruiting. MSEP currently has more than 200 partners who have hired more than 55,000 military spouses.
MSEP also formed the Spouse Ambassador Network, to raise awareness about the challenges related to employment, increase career opportunities and assist in developing career paths that follow military spouses as they relocate.
MSEP is based on the premise that hiring military spouses is good business. Spouses bring hard-to-find values and skills to a wide range of fields, including education and training, health care and financial services. They are tech-savvy, adaptable, resilient, strong leaders, team players and effective under pressure.
MSEP is part of DoD’s broader Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program, which seeks to strengthen education and career opportunities for military spouses. The Chamber of Commerce Foundation partners with DoD in support of SECO. The Chamber’s Hiring Our Heroes program helps veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses find meaningful employment.
Hiring Our Heroes holds hiring fairs specifically designed for military spouses in communities across the United States. These events allow military spouses to meet with employers who are committed to hiring them. Hiring Our Heroes also arranges networking receptions for military spouses across the country to better connect them with local military, community and business leaders.
During the month of January, while we are setting goals for 2014, I hope that military spouses will take time to explore the opportunities available to help them meet their education and career planning goals. Spouse Education and Career Opportunities, in conjunction with the MySECO website, can provide them with wide-ranging resources and tools to help them explore careers, find education and training, prepare for employment and make career-enhancing connections.
Colonel Rich Morales is the Executive Director for Joining Forces