New Initiatives Aid Job-Seeking Spouses
In the four years since the Department of Defense (DoD) launched Military Spouse Employment Partnership, the program has helped over 70,000 military spouses find jobs with its corporate partners and worked to break down barriers that prevented employers from hiring them. It’s a remarkable success story, with more chapters being written as the partnership continues to look for ways to assist every military spouse who would like to find meaningful employment.
To help achieve that ambitious goal, C. Eddy Mentzer, an associate director in DoD’s Office of Family Readiness Policy, Military Community and Family Policy overseeing the partnership, announced several new initiatives:
- The Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) is welcoming 35 to 40 new partners at the program’s annual induction ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 28. “These new partners cover multiple sectors and industries and include nationally known companies, bringing new employment opportunities from great entry level positions to work-at-home options,” Mentzer said. He noted that these are well-known companies offering jobs at every level in the government space, hospitability and food service, the financial industry, recreation and travel, training and education companies, business and retail. “Our goal is to continue to find partners offering national and regional employment opportunities so that when spouses relocate, they can transfer within the company,” Mentzer said.
- Spouses can gain access to MSEP partners through weekly LinkedIn group discussions. Every Thursday at noon these discussions feature a different corporate partner each week, allowing military spouses to directly question MSEP partners about a variety of employment issues. Spouses who can’t participate in real time are able to log in, listen to the session, and post questions for the partners to answer as soon as possible, Mentzer said.
- Intro to Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) webinars will be held at noon on the first Tuesday of every month. These online discussions are designed to help military spouses navigate all the programs offered by SECO and MSEP and kick-start the employment search from the comfort of home. To participate in the webinars, Mentzer suggests military spouses register for an account through the MySECO website. By creating an account, spouses will gain access to exclusive content and receive personal invitations to future webinars. “Because webinars are limited in size, we utilize this invitation/RSVP system to ensure we are able to accommodate all interested spouses,” Mentzer said.
- For budding entrepreneurs, DoD is partnering with the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a special webinar series starting in January. Held at noon on the first Wednesday of each month, the webinars will feature a different topic each session on starting a business. SBA experts will be on hand to answer questions, offer advice, and provide useful information. Follow the MSEP Facebook page for more information once released.
- A counseling service is available on MilitaryOneSource. “These are master-level, certified professionals whose only job is helping military spouses find employment or build a career,” Mentzer said, adding that these aren’t one-time information dumps. Counselors can connect spouses to specific resources they may not be aware of, and will check back to see if the recommended resources actually helped, and if any additional assistance is needed.