MOAA, along with partners Microsoft and Hiring our Heroes (HOH), announced a new pilot program at the Military Spouse Impact Awards on June 20 that will provide spouses with the necessary resources for military spouses to work remotely for their small-business employer after a permanent change-of-station (PCS) move.
The new Military Spouse Remote/Telework Pilot Program will target one of the factors that contributes to the long-standing high unemployment rate within the military spouse community. According to HOH’s Military Spouses in the Workplace study, two-thirds of military spouse respondents reported they had to quit their job due to a PCS.
“Companies employing military spouses know how hard they work, and don’t want to lose them due to a change in assignment,” said MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret). “With this program, we hope to provide military spouses and their employers with the tools to telecommute, thus keeping military spouses in the workforce.”
Microsoft will supply hardware and software for the pilot program, the latest in a number of efforts in support of military spouses.
“I can’t be more proud today than ever,” says Danny Chung of Microsoft Military Affairs at the June 20 event, which celebrated military spouses for their business and entrepreneurial accomplishments, volunteering, and community leadership. “This kit is going to enable and empower military spouses to continue their career, to continue their job, wherever they may go.”
To apply for the pilot program, spouses must prove military relationship and fill out the Remote Work Grant Application. Active duty military spouses must be employed full time with a small-business employer and PCSing within three to six months of applying. They must also have approval from their company in order to submit the application.
To qualify as a small business, the employer must be an independently owned and operated company limited in size and in revenue depending on the industry, a definition developed by the Small Business Administration. Furthermore, the small business must be willing to maintain military spouse employees, but not currently have telecommute policies or resources established.
In the inaugural release of this program, 10 military spouses will be awarded a “remote work kit,” which includes:
- Training tutorials,
- Remote work contract templates,
- Microsoft Surface Pro laptop,
- Microsoft 365 Office Business account,
- Docking station, keyboard, and mouse,
- Antivirus/Malware protection.
If awarded, the military spouse and their small business employer must also meet with the grantor for progress reports every three months.
More program requirements and information can be found on MOAA’s website.