MOAA Military Spouse Professional Development Symposium Attendees Hear from White House Advisers

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The MOAA Military Family Initiative (MMFI), a 501(c)(3) charitable subsidiary of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), presented a MOAA Military Spouse Professional Development symposium at Camp Lejeune, N.C., today, as part of its national partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, a nationwide U.S. Chamber of Commerce initiative supporting military families transitioning out of the military into civilian jobs.

“MOAA is proud to be a national voice for creating professional development opportunities for military spouses,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, president and CEO of MOAA.

The MOAA Military Family Initiative (MMFI), a 501(c)(3) charitable subsidiary of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), presented a MOAA Military Spouse Professional Development symposium at Camp Lejeune, N.C., today, as part of its national partnership with Hiring Our Heroes, a nationwide U.S. Chamber of Commerce initiative supporting military families transitioning out of the military into civilian jobs.

More than 260 spouses took part in the day-long symposium including a panel discussion titled “National Focus on Military Spouse Careers,” which featured Ivanka Trump, adviser to the president, and Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president. White House deputy director for the Office of Public Liaison, Jennifer Korn, moderated the panel.

Korn also delivered a lunchtime keynote address focused on how she built a 20-year career in public policy around her spouse’s Army and Marine Corps service.

Later, Trump and Conway greeted active duty Marines and military spouses and restated the Trump administration’s commitment to employment policies that will support careers in the 21st century. “The Trump administration is committed to preparing the workforce of the future for the work of the future,” Trump said.

The panel took questions from the audience addressing a range of issues including college credit transfers for military spouses, business tax credits for promoting military spouse hiring, and child care capacity on military installations.

Bonnie Amos, the wife of former Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos, also spoke during the symposium.

The symposium opening speaker was Maggie Hahn, Military Affairs Relationship Director, USAA. USAA is a financial sponsor of both Hiring Our Heroes and the MOAA Military Spouse Professional Development symposia series.

“MOAA is proud to be a national voice for creating professional development opportunities for military spouses,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, president and CEO of MOAA. “These symposia directly address the employment challenges military spouses face each day and are fully in line with the MOAA motto, ‘never stop serving.’ We are deeply appreciative of USAA support for this initiative.”

Atkins also mentioned the “Military Spouse Employment Survey,” a 2014 report coauthored by MOAA and Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families, which revealed unemployment rates among military spouses who want to work are four times higher than their civilian counterparts’. The report also found approximately 90 percent of military spouses are underemployed, based on their education and experience.

“These types of high-impact, best-in-class programs simply wouldn’t be possible without the financial support of MOAA members and the public at large,” said retired Air Force Col Mike Turner, executive director of the MMFI. “It is only through their generosity we are able to assist over 50,000 military families each year.” Donations to the MOAA MFI supporting all of its programs and services may be made online at http://www.moaa.org/foundation; by mailing a donation to MOAA MFI, PO Box 321058, Alexandria, VA 22314; or by calling (800) 234-6622.

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