Report Reflects on Five Years of Research, Recommendations and Action Aimed at Solving Military Spouse Employment and Entrepreneurship Challenges and Looks to the Future
LORTON, Va., Jan. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), the premiere organization supporting the professional and personal growth of the nation’s military spouses, today released its fifth annual National Military Spouse Network White Paper presented by USAA. The latest report, “Solving the Military Spouse Employment Puzzle”, looks back at five years of advocacy on behalf of military spouses and provides a status report on the group’s ongoing work along with six new recommendations for advancing the organization’s objectives.
“There are no easy and fast solutions to solving the military spouse employment challenge and that only strengthens our resolve to continue advocating for our members, developing pathways for results through partnership and activism until change is made,” said Sue Hoppin, founder and president of NMSN. “By joining with military spouses and advocates across the globe and others at all levels of government and business we can make the change we want to see in the world.”
“We are proud to continue our partnership with NMSN in support of military spouses and their families,” said Michael Kelly, assistant vice president of Military Affairs at USAA. “Together we are a strong voice for military spouse employment, entrepreneurship and family, ensuring bi-partisan solutions that strengthens our military and the nation.”
The release of this year’s White Paper follows the disappointing news that the unemployment rate among military spouses remains stubbornly high and that the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) bill expanding employment opportunities for military spouses was not passed in the 117th Congress. A blow for military families, NMSN is determined to expand its ground game to push anew for federal, state and military service organizations to strengthen their effort with the 118th Congress to effect change for military spouses and families. The recommendations include:
- Compiling and streamlining access to critical career information needed by military spouses to make informed decisions about their careers as they relocate from one duty station to the next. To accomplish this, the DoD should consider modernizing existing resources such as Military OneSource (i.e., MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, Spouse Education & Career Opportunities, and Military Spouse Employment Partnership) to include employment eligibility of Outside the Continental U.S. (OCONUS) spouses to work within host nations and permit military spouse entrepreneurs to continue their businesses at their new duty stations.
- Modernizing military spouse employment programs, resources, and delivery systems for today’s military spouses. Existing military spouse employment programs, resources and delivery systems may be outdated in today’s ever-changing workplace.
- Creating one comprehensive tool or resource to help military spouses manage their careers from the time they enter the military lifestyle to at least 2-3 years after the service member’s transition from the military.
- Creating military spouse fellowships in congressional offices. To do this, the DoD could establish a pilot program for fellowships and/or internships targeted specially to military spouses interested in leadership or research-based roles in political, public policy or social science career fields.
- Developing a shared lexicon, facilitating clearer communication within communities as well as among service providers, advocates, and lawmakers who support the military community.
- Removing barriers that prevent public and private partnerships, particularly around federal, state, and local regulations, to enhance effective collaboration. By combining assets, budgets are preserved and services and resources are expanded to more effectively serve local communities.
This year’s NMSN White Paper recommendations are a snapshot of today’s military spouse environment and will be the basis for 2023 programming, including events and initiatives designed to enhance military spouse employment and career opportunities for the nation’s one million+ military spouses.
NMSN is grateful to its presenting sponsor, USAA, and supporting sponsors, Merit and Wells Fargo & Company for backing the White Paper project.
SOURCE National Military Spouse Network