"This is not the fight we entered in Iraq, but it is the fight we are in. Every one of us wishes that this war were over and won. Yet it would not be like us to leave our promises unkept, our friends abandoned and our own security at risk." President George W. Bush speaking before Congress Jan. 23
Army Spouse Employment Partnership (ASEP)
What is it? The Army Spouse Employment Partnership (ASEP) is a self-sustaining and expanding partnership that is mutually beneficial to the Army and Corporate America. The Partnership provides Army spouses the opportunity to attain financial security and achieve employment goals through career mobility and enhanced employment options. Corporate Partners are provided the capability to tap into a readily available, diverse and talented pool of candidates.
What has Army done? In October 2003 the Army unveiled ASEP by formally signing Statements of Support with 11 Fortune 500 companies and 2 military agencies who pledged their best efforts to increase employment and career opportunities for Army spouses. Currently there are 26 ASEP Partners from the private sector and the federal government. In Fiscal Year 2006, ASEP Partners hired over 5,000 military spouses, bringing the grand total of spouses employed to 16,000.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future? ASEP Partners continue to create new jobs that address some of the employment challenges spouses face, such as affordability and availability of child care and transportation. They have implemented on their career websites ASEP-dedicated landing pages and specialized tracking mechanisms focused on military spouses. Their co-branded web pages outline their commitment to hiring Army spouses. ASEP Partners are tailoring human resource strategies to the unique needs of Army spouses by implementing adaptive recruiting and hiring processes within their organizations and creating employment continuity programs and career portability with no loss in tenure or benefits.
Why is this important to the Army? The Army recognizes the importance of spouse satisfaction in family decisions. Many Soldiers make retention decisions based on their families' financial stability. Approximately 55 percent of Army spouses are in the labor force and contribute between 20 to 40 percent of their families' income. The perception of a spouse's quality of life - including financial well-being and the ability to realize personal and professional goals - is a major factor in the retention of high-quality military personnel. Frequent Soldier reassignments/relocations make it difficult for spouses to sustain employment and develop long-term careers
The Army launched the Military Spouse Job Search www.msjs.org on July 7, 2005 through Department of Labor's America's Job Bank. MSJS provides free access to a résumé and job-listing database for spouses and military-friendly employers, the ability to track spouse hires, and the capability to sort jobs by state.