THE BLOG
04/14/2014 12:29 pm ET Updated Jun 14, 2014

Thank a Military Spouse This Year by Hiring Them

They may not wear the uniform, or hold a rank, but the military spouse definitely serves. They are the glue that holds the family unit together while their husband/wife is out serving and defending the country. They often wear the hat of mother and father, and they know and live the meaning of sacrifice every day. They are resilient, selfless, versatile, educated, and always willing to go above and beyond to lend a hand. Why is it then that 90 percent of female spouses report being underemployed, earn 38 percent less than their civilian counterparts, and are 30 percent more likely to be unemployed?

Luckily, more attention and focus is being shed on the struggle so many military spouses are facing as it relates to employment, and employers are starting to realize that military spouses are a perfect match for their open positions. One such program is the Military Spouse Employment Partnership , which is part of the Department of Defense broader Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) initiative. MSEP currently has more than 200 employer partners that have hired more than 55,000 military spouses.

Veteran Recruiting in support of MSEP, and the White House Joining Forces initiative, will host the fourth annual Military Spouse Appreciation Day Virtual Career Fair on May 9, in an effort to connect military spouses with dozens of employers across the country. The virtual career fairs are a great solution for military spouses as they can participate from anywhere in the world with a computer and internet connection. Since September 2011, more than 64,000 veterans and military spouses were hired after participating in the VR virtual career fairs. Military spouses can register for the virtual career fair at www.spousevirtualcareerfair.com In addition to the great group of companies who will participate; there are also some great prize giveaways including $250 Visa gift card, IPad, and more.

Verizon will be one of the employers who will participate in the Military Spouse Appreciation Day Virtual Career Fair. Verizon has also partnered with Mom Corps to sponsor 20 military spouses who are looking to return to work to a one year membership at www.momcorpsyou.com. With a Mom Corps YOU membership, military spouses will have access to tools, resources, coaching and support as they are looking to re-enter the workforce.

"As the wife of a USMA West Point graduate and Veteran U.S. Army Infantry Officer, I understand the struggles the spouses of military personnel face when trying to develop meaningful careers, including frequent relocation, flexibility requirements and underemployment," said Allison O'Kelly, founder and CEO of Mom Corps and Mom Corps YOU. "My company recently introduced Mom Corps YOU to help people own their careers, but our offerings -- from resume and job search tips to counsel on re-entering the workforce to resources for helping negotiate flexibility -- are uniquely positioned to help military spouses. That's why we're thrilled to partner with like-minded organizations such as Verizon, and Veteran Recruiting through our military spouse scholarship program"

Companies, who are purposely overlooking military spouses as potential employees, are missing out on an extremely talented pool of highly skilled, well trained, and educated group of professionals. Military spouses are not at all looking for a handout, but they surely deserve an opportunity to find meaningful employment. It should not take a day like Military Spouse Appreciation Day to bring attention and awareness to this alarming issue, but it is one day we can support them as they support the Nation every day.

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