There are many reasons that being the spouse of an active military member is tough, and getting a job is often one of them. Employers sometimes balk at hiring a military spouse, knowing that military moving is common and his or her employment may be brief. Furthermore, moving out of state often adds a frustrating wrinkle for jobs that require state certification, such as teaching, nursing and realty. However, knowing how important it is to give military spouses as much help in this arena as possible, several new programs are hoping to make finding a job a little easier.
Michelle Obama and Jill Biden’s “Joining Forces,” for example, has encouraged 16 states to pass laws facilitating license portability, and another 11 have similar measures in the works. Additionally, 34 employers have become partners and made some of their jobs able to move with the spouses.
One of the causes of these changes is the new nonprofit initiative called “In Gear.” This program organizes spouses and provides a venue for them to discuss problems like the difficulty of gaining and attaining employment. Measures like “In Gear” have helped give voice to this group, and Department of Defense officials said that 85 percent of military spouses have said they either wanted or needed a job.
With programs like “Joining Forces,” that number will likely go down.