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Military Spouse Employment Partnership: A new alternative
Tremayne Chestnutt, International Military Spouse Employment Partnership Account Manager, briefs Lajes members about the MSEP program at the Lajes Airman and Family Readiness Center, March 7, 2012. More than 20 military spouses attended the class. MSEP is a part of the Office of Secretary of Defense programs, which has partnered with America's Fortune 500 companies to help military spouses seeking career opportunities. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Tech. Sgt. Chyrece Campbell)
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Military Spouse Employment Partnership: A new alternative

Posted 3/15/2012   Updated 3/15/2012 Email story   Print story


by Richard Lambert
Chief, Lajes Field Airman and Family Readiness Center

3/15/2012 - LAJES FIELD, Portugal -- Did you know America's top companies are actively seeking military spouses and veterans? Unfortunately, statistics show that military spouses earn 25 percent less than their civilian counterparts, and 85 percent of military spouses either want or need work, yet there is a 26 percent unemployment rate among them!

To address this serious issue, the government has established the Military Spouse Employment Partnership! President Obama put his name behind this strong initiative to increase civilian career and employment opportunities within the private sector for our military spouses and vets.

But MSEP goes way beyond simply helping the military spouse or veteran find new jobs every time they relocate to a new place. Because of the transient nature of our military culture, it's about ensuring our spouses and vets can obtain careers with big companies, and then transfer within the company when they need to relocate, due to military orders or retirement. It's also about being able to earn tenure and compete for promotions--to essentially climb the company ladder!

It's typical for military spouses to constantly start over and find new and different jobs when they PCS with their active duty military spouses. On average, military families relocate 14 percent more frequently than civilian families.

On March 7, 2012, Lajes Field had three MSEP representatives provide an orientation on this exciting initiative. Twenty-five Lajes spouses learned how the MSEP program provides opportunities through a diverse number of corporate partners, who actively reach out to military spouses and veterans. These big national and international companies are keenly aware of the true value and unique skill sets that military spouses and veterans bring to their work force.

Tremayne Chestnutt, International MSEP Account Manager, shared that the mission of MSEP is to create a partnership with national and international corporations, which will enhance employment opportunities for military spouses. He further stated the vision is to create a mutually beneficial, self-sustaining and expanding partnership between military spouses and organizations from the public and private sectors. The intent is for corporate partners to establish a strategic relationship with employment personnel assigned to military communities, allowing them to tap into a readily available, diverse and talented pool of candidates.

The MSEP program is for spouses of active duty, reserve and veterans, as well as spouses of wounded warriors and surviving spouses. It's simple to use this program--just go to and visit the job portal to apply for vacancies.

Is it worth your time? Just ask any of the over 120,000 plus Department of Defense spouses who have connected with jobs and launched careers!

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