Military spouses face many challenges when it comes to finding and keeping a job, including frequent relocations. The Department of Defense has several programs designed to help military spouses find jobs and maintain careers, including the MSEP career portal. Military spouses are well-educated and highly qualified for a variety of jobs, yet they face higher unemployment rates and a wage gap with civilian spouses. Their inability to maintain a rewarding career as they move with the military compromises their quality of life and hampers readiness. The Department of Defense has created several programs to help them find and keep employment, including the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) tuition assistance program and the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP).
MSEP connects military spouses with partners committed to recruiting, hiring, promoting, and retaining them in portable careers. These partners include government organizations, businesses large and small, schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, and community-based organizations. But NMSN recently found that nine out of 11 spouse employment programs administered by DoD and other federal agencies have no publicly available performance metrics, making it difficult to know whether they are effective. NMSN believes that they should be required to publish such data, as they do for programs for veterans and other disadvantaged populations.
What is MSEP?
Many military spouses want and need work, but frequent relocations can hinder their ability to find and maintain jobs. DOD officials say that this lack of employment compromises family satisfaction, reduces economic security, and hampers military readiness. The Department created MSEP to provide targeted recruitment and employment solutions. It offers career-ready training, creates employment connections, and helps agencies connect with spouses who are job ready. The MSEP program is a partnership of government organizations, nonprofits, and private companies that have committed to recruiting, hiring, promoting, and retaining military spouses. More than 70 new private and nonprofit organizations were inducted into the program during this year’s MSEP Engage event in October, said Mentzer.
The program also helps military spouses prepare for and find jobs in their desired career fields through free online education programs. Its career connection tools and resources include a Military Spouse Employment Partnership Career Portal, where spouses can save their job search, post their resume to corporate partners and participate in virtual interview events. Eligible military spouses can use their My Career Advancement Account Scholarship to pay for national testing or an associate degree, and the program offers career counseling from certified career counselors.
Military Spouse Employment Partnership Jobs
In addition to a commitment to help military spouses find jobs, MSEP has a large network of partners or military-friendly employers and a variety of online resources. One of these, the Career Portal, allows a spouse to build an online resume, search job openings, and apply for positions using an easy-to-use interface. The website also allows a spouse to save searches and receive email alerts for new job postings that meet their criteria. It has a feature that lets spouses ask questions of MSEP’s career experts and provides access to articles on various topics.
In addition to the Career Portal, MSEP hosts events that allow spouses to meet with employer partners in person. It plans to host an MSEP Engage event in October, Mentzer said. The agency has also begun offering a non-competitive hiring process for federal jobs open to all, including civilians. This year, it will offer up to a total of 70 positions, mostly professional and administrative roles, Mentzer said. The positions are on a temporary basis and can lead to permanent employment.
MESP Career Opportunities
The Department of Defense provides a variety of employment and career resources specifically for military spouses. These include the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), the My Career Advance Account (MyCAA) tuition assistance program, and the Spouse Ambassador Network. These programs aim to reduce military spouse unemployment and bridge the wage gap with civilian spouses.
MSEP connects military spouses with employers committed to recruiting, hiring, promoting, and retaining them in portable careers. The more than 600 partners include private companies, large corporations, nonprofit organizations, universities, hospitals, and government agencies.
Johnson & Johnson is one of the many MSEP partner employers that has committed to increasing its hiring of military spouses. The company recently added a yearlong career mentorship for military spouses to its American Corporate Partners program. This builds on the company’s long history of helping military families find jobs and career opportunities.