WASHINGTON, D.C. — It’s a challenge to be a married to someone in the military. Moving from base to base makes it especially difficult for a military spouse to hold down a job. Federal lawmakers introduced a bipartisan plan to help.
Our Washington, D.C. Correspondent Brie Jackson reports the Military Spouse Employment Act of 2018 would expand opportunities for military spouses.
Keeping up with the military lifestyle of moving from base to base can be tough on sevice members and their families.
Jenna Lang, a military spouse, says, “Sometime you think it’s not worth the effort. We are only going to be here for a year so am I going to try to find a job for a year?”
Jenna Lang is not alone in her employment concerns. Senator Tim Kaine says there’s proof reassignments have a negative impact on military spouses.
Kaine says, “The unemployment rate for military spouses is between 3-5 times the national average.”
Kaine and a group of federal lawmakers believe the Military Spouse Employment Act can reduce that number by increasing job opportunities.
“Some direct hiring authority so that the federal government would be able to hire military spouses in an expedited way that would help them.”
The proposed bill would also improve access to continuing education programs transition and employment resources for military spouses.
The bill also requires the Department of Defense to help cover costs for re-certifying professional licenses like teaching credentials. Supporters say passing this legislation through Congress would make it easier for military spouses to land jobs.
Lang says employers play a key role too. “Maybe when they have two interviewees they’ll won’t think “oh the military spouse” is only going here two years I ‘d want to hire them”.
And remove barriers for service members and the families members who relocate with them.