"Companies are now saying we want to hire you. We know how talented you are and we want to retain you even when you transition and transfer with your military member." Captain Cooper, Executive Director Joining Forces
Washington DC (PRWEB) July 27, 2012
Joining Forces Executive Director Captain Brad Cooper, spoke exclusively with Jennifer Pilcher, military spouse and CEO of MilitaryOneClick regarding key issues among military families and veterans. Joining Forces launched in April 2011 by The First Lady and Dr. Biden to recognize, honor and serve military families and veterans while focusing on three main components; Employment, Education and Wellness.
Since Joining Forces began over 15 months ago, 2100 major companies have “joined forces” and created over 90,000 jobs for veterans and military spouses. Of those 90,000 jobs, 25,000 jobs are currently held by military spouses. These companies have also pledged to hire over 175,000 more veterans and military spouses in the coming years. Joining Forces also works with the Military Spouse Employment Program and the US Chamber of Commerce Hiring our Heroes program. Cooper commented, “We are moving forward in the same direction and are very much aligned.” MSEP is currently working with over 130 companies providing a range of employment opportunities specifically for military spouses. Cooper said, “MSEP is on the leading edge of a change that was unimaginable a few years ago…for years (military spouses) were reluctant to indicate they are a military spouse, afraid it would have a negative consequence on the application. Companies are now saying we want to hire you. We know how talented you are and we want to retain you even when you transition and transfer with your military member. This was not the case 18 – 24 months ago.”
Another important issue surrounding employment for veterans and military spouses is licensure. CAPT Cooper stated, “… (Licensure) is breaking down the barrier to employment. Licensure is not a new issue, it’s decades old… we just were not been able to move it forward to be meaningful and impactful for military spouses.” However, as The First Lady and Dr. Biden traveled the country and talked with military spouses, licensure was always the number one issue of concern. Therefore, during the National Governors Association Meeting at The White House in the winter, Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden chose to make this their one and only issue to discuss with the Governors and their spouses. Since then Governors have worked with their state agencies and currently 26 states have passed The Military Family Act to help improve military spouse license portability.
Pilcher asked Captain Cooper what surprised him the most about the Joining Forces initiatives. He stated, “I’m pleasantly blown over by the desire of so many people, organizations and associations willing to be helpful….it is often difficult to translate the desire to be helpful into meaningful action. Joining Forces is bridging that gap and helps connect the two in a more vibrant way.”
To listen to the audio of the full interview, please go to http://www.militaryoneclick.com and click on the media tab
MilitaryOneClick.com is a free website for the Military and Community Working as One