Last year, MOAA joined dozens of other military service organizations, nonprofits, and corporations in a working group to develop comprehensive recommendations for military spouses, businesses, and policymakers that would move the needle on the high military spouse unemployment rate.
The yearlong effort, coordinated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring our Heroes and honorary co-chair Karen Pence, culminated in “A Collective Effort: Workforce Development Solutions for the 21st Century Military Spouse” – a report informed by a collection of stakeholders to be used at the local, state, and national level.
“This is the first report of its kind as it brings in the perspectives from many industry areas including military spouses on such an important topic that directly affects the all-volunteer force.” said Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), President and CEO of MOAA. “To develop a collection of these diverse perspectives into one concise report that lays out a roadmap for the future is noteworthy. This should serve as a model for other issues the military faces.”
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Topics addressed in the report include the 21st century military spouse workforce, licensing and credentialing, entrepreneurship, and child care. These four areas were identified by the working group as the most immediate needs to be addressed to remove barriers to military spouse unemployment.
Among the recommendations, which can be read in full here:
- Spouses are encouraged to attend networking and career events, join professional networks, and tailor their job search to “military spouse ready” employers.
- Employers are asked to brand themselves as spouse-friendly through partnerships, education campaigns, and websites with spouse-inclusive content and language; allow spouses to self-identify in application and candidate materials; and institute military spouse hiring targets.
- Government agencies should expand the Work Opportunity Tax Credit to cover military spouses (see more of MOAA’s coverage on the issue here), promote conditions that allow for more mobility and flexibility for spouse careers, and improve awareness and incentives for employers promoting the value of employing military spouses.
MOAA continues to actively engage members of Congress on the obstacles military spouses face in keeping a career on the move. Strides are being made with the recent introduction of a House companion bill to the Senate’s Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act, introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.).
Tell your member of Congress to support this important legislation that would incentivize businesses to hire military spouses and mitigate financial burdens associated with child care.