On November 5, 2013, the Military Spouse Employment Partnership held its annual Induction Ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and the Partner Meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel in Arlington, VA. Sixty new partners joined MSEP bringing the total number of partners to 229 that have pledged to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers to help reduce the unemployment rate and close the wage gap spouses currently experience.
The Military Spouse Employment Partnership expands the career opportunities for military spouses worldwide. Military spouses can access job opportunities through the MSEP Career Portal. The partnership helps spouses find and maintain rewarding careers despite frequent relocation by helping them find employment, build on their education and experience and achieve their career and personal goals. Today's military spouses are skilled, diverse and motivated, with sound work values and a strong work ethic. They are also young, tech-savvy, mobile and highly educated. Through proactive outreach to corporations, small businesses and community organizations, the Department of Defense is building partnerships and expanding the network of potential employers of military spouses.
The MSEP Induction Ceremony took place at the Pentagon Auditorium where the new partners signed Statements of Support and were recognized by enduring partners and VIPs from the service branches and Department of Defense. Ms. Rosemary F. Williams, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, welcomed the ceremony participants. Frederick E. Vollrath, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness and Force Management, presented opening remarks. Ms. Jill Brunning, URS, introduced senior spouse speaker Mrs. Betty Welsh, spouse of the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force. Partner speakers included Mr. Michael Immler and Ms. Cathie Young from Army & Air Force Exchange System, Ms. Shari Davis and Ms. Andrea Rumpler from CSC, and Ms. Ginger Wierzbanowski and Ms. Amanda Muller from Northrop Grumman Corporation.
The new and enduring partners transitioned from the Induction Ceremony to the DoubleTree Hotel for the annual meeting, where partners had opportunities to network and attend several breakout sessions and events.
The Partner Meeting began with a welcome and introductions and moved into the Military Spouse Panel for an information and question-answer session with military spouses employed by MSEP companies and organizations.
The partners then attended breakout sessions of their choice, which included the following:
- Sharing Our Story: MSEP Partner Promising Practices
- partner to Partner: Leveraging MSEP Partners and Resources
- Communication Resources and Engagement Strategies for MSEP Partners
- Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Employment Advisory Council: Good Ideas from Innovators in the Field
The meeting wrapped up with the Spouse Ambassador Network Open House where partners learned about the organizations in the Military Spouse Employment Partnership that share common goals with the Department of Defense in raising awareness about challenges related to military spouse employment and increasing career opportunities that facilitate the mobile military life.
Since its launch in 2011, Military Spouse Employment Partnership partners have posted more than 1,000,000 jobs and hired more than 50,000 military spouses. Hiring military spouses is not only a good business decision; it also helps create a level of stability for service members transitioning out of the military. Through MSEP, partners are making a difference in the quality of life of service members and their families.