When a military family is forced to relocate, it can be difficult for military spouses to find employment. According to the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) approximately 26 percent of military spouses face unemployment. The MSEP helps connect military spouses with jobs or provide them with training to help them enter a new career field.
Military spouses are eligible to receive up to $4,000, or $2,000 a year for up to two years, to cover education and training required to enter a portable career field through a Military Career Advancement Account. Career fields that are considered portable include health care, education, financial services, hospitality management and skilled trades such as carpentry and plumbing.
The Military Spouse Employment Partnership program allows businesses to partner with the organization to provide jobs to military spouses. Around 100 companies have partnered with the organization to provide thousands of jobs. Some of the corporate partners include:
- Bank of America
- Citi Bank
- CVS Pharmacy
- DaVita, Inc.
- Express Scripts
- The Home Depot
- Lockheed Martin
When spouses register with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership online, they have access to the program’s Career Portal. This system gives a spouse the opportunity to build an online resume and apply to jobs directly through the portal. A search feature allows spouses to search all available job opportunities in their area and refine the search by job type, company and industry. Searches may be saved so that spouses are notified immediately of potential job opportunities in their areas or from favorite companies. In addition to applying for available jobs, individuals may send their resume directly to corporate partners to be considered for future job openings. Resume and cover letter templates are available to help spouses as they apply to jobs through the Career Portal and through other sources.
Through the MSEP, military spouses also have access to career counseling and advice. The “Ask an Expert” feature in the Career Portal allows spouses to ask their pressing questions related to finding a job and have it answered by some of the program’s career experts. Questions may range from what to wear to an interview to questions about how to get ahead in your current workplace. Articles on the website also provide spouses with valuable career advice.
The Military Spouse Employment Partnership also works with Military OneSource and CareerOneStop to offer career assessments to help spouses find their ideal career. Special Spouse Career Center consultants help military spouses use the results of those career assessments and other information to develop education and career plans, find financial aid and any determine ways to gain any other necessary skills or certifications.
Spouses who do not have access to a computer or want to talk with a live counselor may also contact SECO (Spouse Education & Career Opportunities) by calling 1-800-342-9647. Through SECO, military spouses have access to career counselors, advice and other career services.