On June 30, MOAA joined 14 other corporations and non-profits in signing a partnership agreement with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), whose mission is to promote hiring of military spouses, reduce underemployment and shrink the wage gap between military spouses and their civilian counterparts.
MSEP is an expansion from the Army Spouse Employment Partnership (ASEP), a program launched in 2003 to connect employers with Army spouses. Through ASEP, more than 40,000 military spouses have found employment. The success of ASEP led to the launch of MSEP, as part of Joining Forces.
Today, unemployment is hitting military spouses particularly hard. More than 26 percent of military spouses are unemployed and a 50 percent pay gap persists between military spouses and civilians, according to Robert Gordon, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy.
"We want to bring that employment gap down at least five points by 2013," Gordon said.
More than 200 additional employers are in the queue to apply as a participating employer. Gordon said the goal is to see MSEP employers hire 175,000 military spouses by 2012.
The MSEP online portal provides a dedicated job board, where spouses can browse by state, search for specific positions, or create a profile which will be used to match candidates with relevant jobs. The job postings are not exclusive to MSEP or military spouses, but the positions have been selected by participating companies for their portability.
There are also career counseling resources managed through Military OneSource.
Employers and non profits must apply to be an MSEP partner. Once they are vetted – depending on how many jobs they offer, and where they're located - they are expected to provide data on hires each year.