New Help For Spouses' Job Search - Web Tool Will Be Part Of Expanded Program Likely To Launch In June
By Karen Jowers
May 23, 2011
A new Web portal that matches military spouses with employers who want to hire them will be part of a program that expands a successful Army effort to spouses of all service branches.
Defense officials declined to provide details on the expanded program, including a start date, because they want to reserve information for the formal launch, said Air Force Maj. Monica Matoush, a Pentagon spokeswoman.
But sources familiar with the program say it is expected to launch in late June.
A beta version of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership website allows spouses to search by state and by general career fields.
In preparation for the military-wide expansion, the Army program will soon provide a searchable job board and a job detail page, with links to employer pages, a list of "hot job" opportunities, and direct links to employer points of contact, said Jean Mills, deputy of family programs for the Army's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command.
Army spouses currently work with employment readiness program managers at family centers to link up with the Army Spouse Employment Partnership employers, as part of a wide range of employment assistance. The assistance will continue, but the Web portal will make it easier for spouses to learn about jobs available.
Since the Army began its program in 2003, 57 companies, non-profits and government organizations have hired 102,000 Army spouses. These employers range from Dell to Northrop Grumman to the Social Security Administration, the Association of Military Banks, CSC and AT&T.
Many of the partner businesses also have hired spouses from other branches of service, but those numbers are not tracked, Mills said.
As part of the Army program expansion, employers are increasing work-from-home job opportunities, Mills said. Officials are also developing a "virtual headhunter" for candidates and corporate managers.
The Defense Department-wide expansion was announced in January as part of the Presidential Study Directive, which requires federal agencies to increase their support to military families.
In an April post on the Defense Department's Family Matters blog, Robert Gordon III, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy, said defense officials are engaging the nation's employment leaders with this message: "Military spouses are your best choice for your next hire; they are skilled and diverse; they are educated and motivated; and they are team-oriented and have a strong work ethic."
According to the Military Spouse Employment Partnership website, new employers who want to be considered for the program should have:
• Types of jobs that are compatible with data on spouse occupations.
• Jobs at or near military installations.
• A good track record with broad diversity efforts.
• A satisfactory rating with the Better Business Bureau.
• Global/regional reach.
• At least 5,000 employees.