New ASEP partners to employ Army spouses
By Margaret McKenzie
U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, Oct. 13, 2006) - Six new partners joined the Army Spouse Employment Partnership program during a signing ceremony at the "Realizing the Dream, Jobs in Your Neighborhood" family forum at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual meeting Oct. 9.
New partners for 2006 comprise companies representing the technical, financial, healthcare and retail industries, as well as the federal government. They are: Affiliated Computer Services Inc., H&R Block, Humana Military Healthcare Services, the Social Security Administration, Starbucks Coffee Company and Stratmar Retail Services.
"Our Partners are reporting terrific successes in hiring spouses," said Teresita Rivera, Army employment readiness program manager for the U.S. Army Community and Family Support Center. "In the last year, ASEP partners hired more than 4,900 spouses, bringing the total to more than 16,000 spouses hired through the partnership. They are focusing on specific initiatives to accommodate the increased need for jobs to meet re-stationing."
"We place great importance on increasing Army spouse employment because it is the right thing to do and because the Army understands that Soldier retention is closely linked to how well we care for each Soldier's family," said Brig. Gen. Belinda Pinckney, CFSC commander. "Our Army spouses embrace the Army Spouse Employment Partnership as it is widely recognized as a true solution with solid results."
By signing the statement of support, the corporations pledged their best efforts to increase employment opportunities for Army spouses.
"This event is a demonstration of both the Army's and your company's leadership commitment to partnership," said John P. McLaurin III, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Human Resources. "Today marks a significant milestone for Army spouses and the promise by the Army to facilitate your company's efforts to access, develop, recruit and hire from one of the most talented, diverse labor pools in America.
"The Army and our partners know and understand the challenges faced by our career spouses," McLaurin added. "The Army Spouse Employment Partnership is leveraging the strength of our employment readiness field personnel's knowledge of local resources. Training opportunities they offer to spouses, along with a proven toolbox of assessments, can help spouses build career ladders throughout the range of opportunities offered by our corporate partners."
Employment Readiness Program Managers at local installations are connecting spouses to employers, both ASEP partners and local small businesses.
"Our ACS centers have a wonderful relationship with those small companies that are located outside the gates, and a number of them are already involved in providing support, jobs and training opportunities," said Delores Johnson, director of Family Programs for the Army.
The relationship between the Army's Employment Readiness Program and the corporate partners of ASEP has relieved some of the tensions experienced by military spouses looking for jobs.
"Spouses are comforted that they are seen as such a strong link in the Army family," Rivera said. "They can be proud of the Army's efforts in working with corporations and small businesses to strengthen relationships and build solid communication processes."
One of the results of the Army Spouse Employment Partnership is the Military Spouse Job Search database, said Rivera. It has become a virtual job center for military spouses and the corporate partners. Currently, there are more than 45,594 jobs in the database. This number changes daily as new jobs are posted and jobs are filled.
MSJS is also helping to brand the Army spouses as a viable talent pool. The hope of the partners that post jobs to the site is that Army spouses will stand up and be proud of the fact that they are a military spouse, Rivera added.
Companies today are taking every necessary step to attract skilled individuals, Rivera said. The diversity of employable military spouses is an important factor for the corporations involved in the program.
The new partners join 20 others that provide employment opportunities to military spouses through ASEP. Partners include Adecco USA, Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Army Career Alumni Program, Army Civilian Personnel, BellSouth, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Computer Systems Corporation, Concentra Inc., CVS/Pharmacy, Defense Commissary Agency, Dell, Inc., EURPAC Service Inc., Home Depot, Lockheed Martin, Manpower Inc., Sabre Holdings/Travelocity, Sears Holdings Corporation, Sprint SunTrust Bank and United Services Automobile Association.
For more information about the Army Spouse Employment Partnership visit www.myarmylifetoo.com.