Robert L. Gordon III, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Military Community and Family Policy)
On Columbus Day, I had the honor of participating in the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) Induction Ceremony. Twenty-four new companies joined the partnership, bringing the total to ninety-six partners! The Induction Ceremony recognized the growing community of businesses that are stepping up to offer meaningful and portable employment opportunities to our military spouses.
I met with the leaders of our newest partner companies and can say without question that they are excited about the opportunity to hire military spouses. In fact, each of the 96 partner companies clearly understands the true value our military spouses bring to their companies. In return, the companies are offering flexible job opportunities that can withstand relocations, deployments, and other aspects of military life that have made career advancement so difficult for our spouses in the past.
Military spouses face a 26% unemployment rate and a 25% wage gap compared to their civilian counterparts. MSEP’s goal is to level the playing field and help our military spouses connect with companies that are searching for talented and skilled employees. But the impact of MSEP goes beyond just reducing the unemployment rate for our military spouses. It also benefits employers by connecting them to a large and diverse body of exceptionally capable, dedicated, and motivated workers. In addition, MSEP also provides an important readiness connection: meaningful career opportunities that are compatible with the spouse’s military service make it easier for quality families to remain in the military and continue to serve our great nation.
MSEP has experienced extraordinary growth since its June launch. In less than four months, MSEP has provided employment to more than 5,600 military spouses, and another 56,000 jobs are available on the website. As we look ahead, the DoD is committed to making MSEP even more useful, both for military spouses and for businesses. Spouses will soon be able to post resumes and cover letters directly to the MSEPjobs site, and both companies and spouses will be notified when a resume matches a job announcement. The site will also pull job announcements from partner job pages and instantly load them onto the site, making it a true one-stop-shop for military spouse employment. We need to continue to hear from you – your feedback is critical to the program’s continued improvement. Please join our discussion to let us know what you think: what’s working, and what can we do to improve it further?
In the spirit of Columbus, we at the DoD are forging ahead, making significant strides to help our military spouses find meaningful employment. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
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