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Chamber testifies in support of Senate military spouses bill in Austin

Your Chamber’s Vice President of Military Affairs and Leadership Development, Lori Stinson, provided testimony in support of State Senate Bill 1200 (SB1200) in front of the Business and Commerce Committee. On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, Stinson was able to personally present our support for SB1200, which provides a broad-spectrum approach to supporting our military spouses who seek meaningful careers in Texas, specifically in relation to those who require licensing and certifications.

As Vice Chair of the Governor’s Committee to Support the Military, Stinson worked with others from around Texas to recommend the streamlining of the licensure and certification transfer process for military spouses, highlighting the need for comprehensive licensing and certification reform. As an Army wife of 23 years, Stinson also provided personal insight into the challenges of military spouses who wish to work outside of the home and shared the concerns of her fellow military spouses with the committee members. While service members sign up to wear the uniform to defend our nation, many spouses are unaware of the immense impact that the military life will have on their personal and professional lives. Sacrificing careers to support the service member is not unique and choosing to put occupations on hold to keep the Family intact at a new duty station is very common. By volunteering their time and talents within the communities where they live, they serve in special ways, leaving many spouses without consistent paid employment, career advancement and professional development and training that civilian counterparts enjoy – oftentimes hundreds of miles from extended families and support network.

The Chamber’s mission is to propel business success.  Our membership is comprised of more than 2,100 area businesses that together employ 500,000 people in the San Antonio and surrounding region. San Antonio’s military spouses are a vital part of our very talented workforce and an asset to the local communities where they live, work, study, and play. Working military spouses provide an additional source of income to their families and provide a secure foundation for the family when the mission calls the service member away from home, as well as spending hard earned dollars back into the local economy.

“Easing the burden of our military spouses and eliminating barriers in securing positions in their chosen career fields, expediting licensing and certifications, and getting them to work more quickly benefits not only the military family, but the organization where they are employed,” Stinson said. “It also benefits the clients, patients, and citizens they desire to serve professionally.”

Precious time can be wasted in employment transition due to frequent moves, leaving families without an additional income, and the spouse without valuable time in practice, as well.

Support for our military service members, spouses, and their families continues to be top priority for San Antonio and Bexar County, as we aim to live the words “Military City USA.”

For more information on resources to hire military spouses, initiatives to transfer certifications and licensing, as well as spouses seeking employment, email Lori Stinson as lstinson@sachamber.org.

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