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Pentagon reports major progress in spouse-employment effort

Aug. 5, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
A military spouse receives coaching for her resume at the Marston Pavilion aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Military-friendly employers have reached the goal of hiring 50,000 military spouses two years early, officials said.
A military spouse receives coaching for her resume at the Marston Pavilion aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. Military-friendly employers have reached the goal of hiring 50,000 military spouses two years early, officials said. (Lance Cpl. Jackeline M. Perez Rivera / Marine Corp)
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Military-friendly employers have reached the goal of hiring 50,000 military spouses two years early, said Jessica Wright, acting under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

Wright, who made the announcement at the Department of Defense Military Family Readiness Council meeting Monday, said it was an important milestone to hire the 50,000 spouses “well ahead” of 2015, the original goal of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership.

About 180 employers are part of the partnership. Since June 29, 2011, when the partnership was expanded from an Army program to a program for all military spouses, the companies have hired more than 50,000 spouses. That’s a 56 percent increase since November, when the number of spouses hired had reached 32,000. And in less than a year, the number of military-friendly companies who have joined the partnership has also increased from 129 to more than 180.

Wright praised the efforts of the partner employers, and of first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Biden, who have been touting the benefits of hiring veterans and military spouses as they travel around the country. Without their advocacy, she said, “we wouldn’t have been as successful.”

Defense officials vet employers before they join the partnership, and each one pledges to increase employment opportunities for military spouses; help spouses stay employed as they relocate; provide promotion opportunities for spouses; and support pay equity for spouses based on their level of training, work experience, accomplishments and credentials.

There is no guarantee a company will hire a particular military spouse over another qualified candidate. But by being members of the partnership, these companies are making it known that they are seeking military spouses.

As of this writing, there were 124,527 active job listings from these companies on the Military Spouse Employment Partnership career portal.

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