REMARKS BY DR. JILL BIDEN AT THE LAUNCH OF THE MILITARY SPOUSE EMPLOYMENT PARTNERSHIP, AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY
Good morning everyone.
Thank you, Andrea, for that kind introduction and for all you do for our country. I am thrilled to be here with all of you today as Second Lady, and also as a proud Blue Star mom.
I’d like to thank the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as the senior enlisted advisors and their spouses for their outstanding leadership.
I’d also like to acknowledge Admiral and Deborah Mullen for their incredible commitment to our Nation’s military families. We are all grateful to you both – and Deborah, you are a wonderful example of our amazing military spouses around the globe.
And finally, I’d like to thank our guests of honor, the extraordinary military spouses and families who are here with us today.
All of us – the business representatives, the military leaders, and the officials from the Chamber of Commerce – all of us are here today because of you.
Over the past two and a half years, the First Lady and I have been honored to meet many military spouses and we have been so inspired by your amazing stories. We have been struck by your strength, your commitment to our country and the strong examples you set for your families, your workplaces, and your communities.
We’re here because we know how much you have to offer – your skills, your work ethic, and your endless energy.
And we also know about the sacrifices you make - running your households and raising your kids all alone through those long deployments, often while maintaining fulltime jobs of your own.
Every day, our military spouses are giving back to this country. When their loved ones are called to serve, they serve right alongside them.
Now we must serve them as well as they serve us.
That’s why, earlier this year, the First Lady and I launched Joining Forces - a nationwide campaign to rally all Americans to recognize, honor and support our military families.
Groups, individuals, and businesses like those here today are joining forces in areas of employment, education and wellness to help military families. Companies and organizations like the Chamber, the PTA, the YMCA, the American Heart Association and many others have stepped up with exciting programs to support these families.
We’re Joining Forces with cities and states, encouraging them to adopt policies that help military families.
We’re Joining Forces with the American people - as neighbors, colleagues, classmates, and community members - urging them to step up and give something back to the military families who’ve given us so much.
And we’re Joining Forces with the federal government and with businesses across the country to improve employment prospects for military families.
Over the past year, the Obama-Biden Administration has been working to implement nearly 50 specific commitments by the federal government to improve the lives of military families – everything from protecting families from financial scams, to improving education for military kids and spouses, to fighting to end homelessness among veterans.
One of those priorities is to develop career and educational opportunities for military spouses.
And today, with this new Military Spouse Employment Partnership, we are taking a major step forward in achieving that goal.
I am thrilled that we have 57 companies involved in this partnership, and I’m delighted that 15 more companies have just signed on.
And I’d like to acknowledge the work of the Chamber of Commerce to support these efforts.
From sponsoring hiring fairs for veterans and spouses, to creating a mentoring program for 10,000 military wives and servicewomen, to hosting us here today, this organization is playing an important role, and we are all grateful for your support.
And in the coming months and years, I hope that companies and organizations across America will follow your lead.
Because the fact is, if you’re looking for hard-working, highly-skilled, educated, and dedicated employees, our military spouses are precisely the employees you need.
So once again, I want to thank the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and all the companies represented here today for their leadership.
The First Lady and I look forward to working with all of you in the months and years ahead.
Thank you for all you do to support our amazing military families.