News

Military spouse employment is top priority

Your San Antonio Chamber of Commerce is excited to support Hiring Our Heroes initiatives for our military families in San Antonio and nationwide. With momentum from the recent Executive Order signed by President Donald Trump, which will aim to make it a little easier for the nation’s military spouses to find employment as their families deploy domestically and abroad, we hope to encourage all of our local businesses to invest in hiring military spouses.

This Executive Order will increase opportunities for military spouses to obtain federal jobs and encourage agencies to increase their use of the noncompetitive hiring authority for them, as well. Trump said he hoped the executive action would encourage private-sector businesses to follow suit in their hiring practices, and he recognized the military spouse workforce by saying, “Your support is essential to making our military the mightiest fighting force in the world and getting stronger all the time.” He continued, “We can never repay you for all that you do. We know what you do, and your spouse knows what you do. We can never repay you for that, but we can and we will give you the opportunities you deserve.”

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the unemployment rate for military spouses is 16%, four times the national average for female adults. The survey provided by military families through the U.S. Chamber Foundation found that unemployment and underemployment are major challenges for the spouses of service members, 92% of whom are female. Among military spouses who are employed, 14% are in part-time jobs and half of that part-time group wants full-time work.

As part of the growing network of businesses who are striving to connect military spouses with local employers and gain meaningful employment, the U.S. Chamber will be hosting a Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone (MSEEZ) Working Group Session. This session will be an ideal time to ask questions and get involved in the vast community of local industry leaders who are focused on gainful employment and smooth transitions for our military spouses and partners. This grassroots effort was established to combat the economic impact the military spouse unemployment and underemployment has on the 21st Century military family. We highly encourage you to join us and gain insight into what makes this subset of our workforce invaluable and unique. Booz Allen Hamilton is set to host this session on May 23, 2018, from 3:00pm – 5:00 pm at 112 E Pecan Street, San Antonio, Texas 78205, Suite 900 (Conference Room Lonestar B). RSVP to Megan Paone at mpaone@uschamber.com.

A second event will be held the following evening when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and USAA will host a Hiring Our Heroes – San Antonio Military Spouse Networking Evening Reception for spouses of all active duty Military, Guard, Reserve, Veterans, and Retirees, as well as Gold Star Spouses. More details can be found here: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/event/san-antonio-military-spouse-networking-event.

At this free hiring event, military spouses will build their network and engage valuable contacts including recruiters, hiring managers, community leaders, and senior military spouses. Prior to the hiring reception, spouses have the opportunity to receive resume guidance and have a professional headshot photo taken.

The event is part of the Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Program, dedicated to advancing the careers of military spouses by hosting hiring and networking events that connect spouses face-to-face with experts and employers. The reception will be hosted on Thursday, May 24, 2018, from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at USAA Headquarters/USAA Bank Lobby, 10750 McDermott Freeway. Interested job seekers should pre-register online at www.hiringourheroes.org/events.

Hiring Our Heroes, created in 2011, has helped more than half a million veterans and military spouses find employment and more than 30,000 of these hires resulted directly from over 1,100 job fairs held across the country. The Military Spouse Program also provides a Professional Network that offers career development and networking opportunities monthly. This professional career web is invaluable where approximately 80% of jobs fill by referral.

Be sure to stay up to date with these initiatives by following @HiringOurHeroes,  #HOHMilSpouse and visiting www.hiringourheroes.org on-line. The Chamber’s Military Affairs Council will continue to follow, support, and engage with news and events, as well.

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