U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command has teamed up with Flagstar Bank and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to provide career opportunities for military spouses. Members of the bank’s leadership team, along with representatives from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and TACOM, held a virtual meet and greet on Oct. 26.A career-building program is important in a demographic where approximately 25% of military spouses are unemployed, a rate well above the national average. Of those who do have a job, between 30% and 50% are underemployed or working at jobs below their skill level.Oftentimes military spouses are not just looking for a job; they want a career.Kimberly Foley, Flagstar Bank Recruiting Director, said the bank is excited about teaming up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and TACOM for this pilot program.“This is a commitment that we have made to the spouses and partners of our military personnel,” said Foley.Career paths are typically limited for military spouses due to the nature of military service and the frequency of duty location changes.The current situation with the coronavirus has helped the bank increase its telework capabilities.“We have been going through tremendous changes with the pandemic, and this has opened up the geography for Flagstar and our ability to provide remote working opportunities,” said Foley.On the family side of things, dual incomes are often needed to sustain a comfortable living. Military spouses should be given the same access to career opportunities as their civilian counterparts to help maintain economic stability for their family. Access to career opportunities has an impact on the military family, but it can also impact national security as military members make decisions about whether to continue serving.When the spouse is unhappy and cannot fulfill his or her career goals, the service member typically separates from the military.Liz Larsen, Senior Manager, Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Program for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, who participated in the meet and greet, works to help connect military spouses to meaningful employment opportunities.Military spouses are an underused resource in the job market. At many duty stations, often the only employment they can find is in retail positions that have a high turnover rate, because they can’t access careers that better develop managerial and leadership skills.Courtney Thompson, Flagstar Bank Senior Vice President of Default Mortgage Servicing Group, said the bank is currently opening career opportunities to military spouses who do not have experience, and providing them with the training they need to be successful.“We reframed our training to be in an online environment,” Thompson explained.In the mortgage servicing sector, Flagstar has doubled the number of employees since the beginning of 2020. Thompson stated the number is expected to double again before the middle of next year.The intent of “Hire a Military Spouse” is to help provide meaningful, well-paying, career-building employment opportunities to military spouses who typically face higher unemployment rates due to the military members’ responsibilities. Thompson stated that Flagstar is excited about potential military spouse candidates who are willing to learn and step up to do the job.“We’re super jazzed,” Thompson said.Spouses who did not attend the virtual meet and greet can still be a part of the program. You can sign-up to receive notifications about program modules, which include resume writing, building a LinkedIn profile, softskills, virtual interviews, and remote employment opportunities. To find out more about the “Hire a Military Spouse” program, just send an email to usarmy.detroit.tacom.mbx.lcmc-pao@mail.mil with the subject line of “Hire a Military Spouse-(Your Full Name).”You can also find additional career opportunities through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation on their website www.hiringourheroes.org.EDITOR’S NOTE: Department of Defense, Department of the Army, Tank-automotive and Armaments Command endorsement of Flagstar Bank is neither intended or implied.Related LinksArmy.mil: Quality of LifeArmy.mil: Spouse EmploymentCritical spouse employment initiatives to be addressed at AUSA