The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced it is expanding employment opportunities for military spouses departmentwide, as part of its formal induction into the Department of Defense (DOD) Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) program.
The career program connects military spouses with more than 390 affiliated employers who have committed to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable jobs.
“Hiring and retaining military spouses is not only good for business, but the quality of life and financial stability of military families tie directly to the readiness and retention of the military forces,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “VA is committed to delivering better services to Veterans and their families and military spouses possess the education, diversity, skills and unique perspectives that can help us deliver on our promise to care for Veterans.”
VA’s Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) joined the MSEP last year and is working to identify additional best practices for hiring military spouses through a Board military spouse working group. In July 2019, the Board, as VA’s representative, entered into an agreement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes to share best practices for the hiring and retaining of military spouses, including membership in MSEP.
MSEP is part of DOD’s broader Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program which seeks to reduce the 24% unemployment rate experienced by military spouses and 25% wage gap experienced by military wives. SECO provides education and career guidance to military spouses worldwide and offers free, comprehensive resources and tools related to career exploration to include education, training and licensing, employment readiness and career connections.
To learn more about SECO, search Military OneSource or call 800-342-9647 to speak to a SECO career coach.