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Edition: Mon, November 19, 2007
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TODAY'S FOCUS

Army Spouse Employment Partnership Continues to Grow

What is it? Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Kelly Services, RGIS, The TJX Companies, Inc., and Toys "R" US joined 26 other corporations providing employment opportunities and job stability to military spouses. The Army Spouse Employment Partnership (ASEP), a mutually beneficial partnership between the Army and corporate America, provides Army spouses the opportunity to continue careers as they move with their active duty service members and employers access to a talented and diverse workforce.

What has the Army done? The initiative began in May 2002 when then Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki directed the establishment of collaborative partnerships with public and private sector companies to create career and training opportunities for military spouses. In October 2003, the Army formally signed a Statement of Support with 11 Fortune 500 companies and two military agencies. The corporations, in turn, pledged their best efforts to increase employment opportunities for Army spouses and facilitate the employment of Army spouses to the mutual benefit of the Army and corporate America.

What continuing efforts does the Army have planned? The Office of the Chief of Staff of the Army, the Department of Defense and Congress place great importance on increasing military spouse employment. Studies have shown that military spouses' sense of well-being directly impacts retention rates. Increased employment opportunities contribute significantly to a spouses' sense of well-being and satisfaction with military life. ASEP currently serves 95 installations around the world. The Army will continue to support Soldiers and their Families, with a goal of expanding ASEP partnerships to 50 companies, giving Army spouses more choices, strengthening local partnerships, and working on partner best practices and strategic communication plans.

Why is this important to the Army? All too often military spouses leave jobs to move to the next duty station, only to find it extremely difficult to attain immediate employment. ASEP can minimize that difficulty. With the July 7, 2005 launch of the Military Spouse Job Search database, spouses can now search for jobs and submit resumes to the site, and employers can post job vacancies. ASEP partners can mine the resumes and offer employment directly to spouses.

By tapping into a diverse and talented labor pool, ASEP partners save on recruitment, training and retention costs, and fulfill a civic duty.

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