Today, Second Lady Karen Pence hosted business leaders from across the country, in partnership with American Corporate Partners, for a second business summit to create military spouse employment solutions. The summit took place at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House.
Fifty-seven businesses and organizations were represented at the summit to report the progress they have made in developing plans to address military spouse unemployment. This summit follows the inaugural business summit hosted by Mrs. Pence earlier in May. Companies, such as Amazon, BMS, Deloitte, and Lockheed Martin, presented their action steps and offered ideas for other businesses in attendance to help develop similar actionable plans.
“Military spouses are well-educated, hardworking, flexible, reliable, and loyal,” said Mrs. Pence. “They are valuable assets to our American workforce. I am encouraged by the business and organization leaders who are developing job opportunities to benefit our military spouses.”
The Second Lady’s Military Spouse Campaign and Business Summit Series
Mrs. Pence launched a campaign in September of 2018 to honor and highlight the service of military spouses while also recognizing their unique employment challenges. Mrs. Pence has traveled the country meeting spouses, business leaders, and government officials advocating for more fulfilling career opportunities for military spouses.
As part of this work, Mrs. Pence partnered with American Corporate Partners (ACP) to invite American business and organization leaders to the White House for a series of business summits to create military spouse employment solutions.
1st Summit: May 2019, 46 American businesses met at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to brainstorm and discuss ways their businesses can find private-public sector employment solutions.
2nd Summit: November 2019, 57 American businesses and seven organizations convened to continue the conversation about their ongoing efforts to brainstorm and develop plans to address military spouse employment challenges.
Businesses will be invited back to a third Summit where they can share updates about the progress they have made to develop and implement plans to address military spouse employment challenges.
Military Spouse Employment Facts
According to the Department of Defense, military spouse unemployment currently stands at 24%.
Military spouses are disproportionately affected by occupational licensing requirements, with approximately one third working in a field requiring a license.
Military spouses earn substantially less than other labor market participants, and the employment challenges affect military recruitment, retention, and readiness.
Military spouses, on average, move every two to three years.