Monday, November 19, 2012

The Military Spouse Employment Partnership: Program Helps Military Spouses to Find Jobs

On a Department of Defense’s Bloggers’ Roundtable I had the opportunity to hear Meg O’Grady, director of the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), speak about the opportunities of the year-old program.

While the launching of this program was 41 years too late to help me when I was a new Mrs. Lieutenant and desperately wanted to find a job, today the MSEP program offers a current partnership of 160 companies that want to hire military spouses.

In fact, click here to find over 800,000 jobs listed.

The roundtable question I asked was based on the rejections I got so many years ago:

What to do about the employer who won’t hire a military spouse because that spouse may only be staying in one location for a year or two?

Ms. O’Grady replied that the companies who are part of this partnership work to help spouses deal with this issue. For example, a current employer may recommend to another company in the partnership a military spouse who is relocating to the location of the second company.

Needless to say, I am VERY impressed with this new program and hope that all military spouses can take advantage of the opportunities.

AND HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT aspect of this program and how military spouses today can make a big difference in their own lives:

The MSEP program came out of the results of the bi-annual Active Duty Spouse Survey. And the fourth such survey since 2006 is about to take place.

(In the alternating year there is a survey of National Guard and Reserve spouses.)

As I understand it from Dr. Cathy Flynn, program analyst with Military Community & Family Policy, starting today (Nov. 19) survey participant requests are being mailed to randomly selected military spouses (about 10% or 65,000). The survey has approximately 120 questions and takes from 20 to 30 minutes.

Questions will cover such areas as the impact on deployment, military and community program usage, and financial well-being issues. These types of questions resulted in the Military Spouse Employment Partnership – and the answers to the newest survey could result in other significant benefits for military spouses.

If you are one of the randomly selected participants, please do take the time to fill out the survey. You could be helping to make significant improvements in your own life and those of many other military spouses.

And if you’d like to read a short story about my military spouse employment saga 42 years ago, click here to read “A True Army Story: Whistle While You (Try to) Work”


Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the novel MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the eBook technothriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her posts at the company's social media marketing blog.

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