Current Events

Title:First lady unveils new military spouse hiring effort

Author:Elaine Sanchez

Date:April 2012

Source:American Forces Press Service

Volume:Volume 3 Issue 69

WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama this month announced a new hiring effort intended to deliver thousands of portable, flexible job opportunities to military spouses and veterans in the coming years.

Eleven companies have pledged more than 15,000 jobs for military spouses and veterans, the first lady said, noting the vast majority of these jobs can be accomplished from home.

This commitment will make a "huge difference" for military spouses, Obama said in announcing the initiative. "We're working hard on their behalf because we're proud of them," the first lady said. "Having an opportunity to have a decent job...is one of the most important ways we can support these families."

This new effort will offer spouses thousands of at-home employment opportunities in areas such as customer support and telemarketing, as well as jobs that are physically located near military installations, a White House news release said. Nearly two dozen contact centers — which offer family-friendly scheduling, growth opportunities and the ability to transfer seamlessly from one center to another — have committed to hiring spouses.

These companies and their job opportunities will be integrated into the Defense Department's Military Spouse Employment Partnership, the release said. MSEP is an effort in which more than 100 private-sector companies have committed to a focused effort on military spouse employment.

The first lady noted the value of flexible, portable jobs for military spouses, who must balance work and home life with military-related demands. Portability enables spouses to move without the stress of finding a new job at each new location, the first lady explained, noting military families are 10 times more likely to move across state lines than civilian families. And flexible work hours offer a better work-life balance, particularly for spouses caring for children or elderly parents.

Military spouses shoulder a significant burden, Obama noted. They move frequently, take on additional responsibilities during deployment — all while balancing the demands of family, careers and community.

But while challenging, a military lifestyle also equips spouses with a vast array of in-demand job skills, the first lady said. They're able to troubleshoot a variety of situations, manage schedules and deal with changing circumstances — all qualities any employer would value, she noted.

"Military spouses often are the most talented and most resilient and most employable people around," she said. "What we're trying to do is meet these spouses where they are."

Companies' key commitments include:

  • Alpine Access has pledged to recruit, train and hire more than 3,000 military-connected Americans over the next two years. The company also will launch TalentSprout, an online portal with skill-building and job training curriculum. These career and personal development courses will be offered free-of-charge to qualified members of the armed forces and to their eligible spouses and caregivers.
  • Arise Virtual Solutions Inc. plans to add 10,000 new independent business and client services professionals from military families over the next several years. Arise also intends to develop special programs to create awareness among military spouses and veterans.
  • DialAmerica aims to increase the number of military-affiliated employees to make up 20 percent of its workforce by 2014.
  • Etech Global Services has committed to hiring a minimum of 200 military spouses and veterans in next two years.
  • Prosperity America intends to hire 50 more veterans and military spouses.
  • Agility Marketing is planning to add 100 jobs for military spouses and veterans over the next two years.
  • SP Data intends to add more than 150 jobs for military spouses and veterans over the next two years.
  • Veteran Call Center, LLC plans to create an additional 1,000 jobs for military spouses and veterans over the next two years.

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