Boosting job opportunities for military spouses

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Helping our men and women in the military find jobs in the civilian world has always been important. Now, business leaders are reaching out to boost career and job opportunities for the husbands and wives of servicemembers.

Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched a new program to connect more military spouses with employers in the San Diego area. Through a program called the “Empowerment Zone,” the business group hopes to join more military families with employers through the Chamber’s website, “Hiring Our Heroes.”

Elizabeth O’Brien, who’s introducing the program to other cities around the nation, suggested military spouses face special challenges in finding meaningful jobs because of frequent orders to move.

Military spouses traditionally move every three years. We know, by and large, resumes and interview opportunities with employers happen through networks, so every time we move, we lose our network and we have to rebuild,” O’Brien said.

Brian Alvarado, who’s married to a Navy sailor is part of a “Hiring Our Heroes” volunteer group that’s trying to build stronger career connections for the wives and husbands of San Diego servicemembers.

“When they get their orders, the military spouse says, “Oh, what am I going to do? I have to quit my job.” Well, they have a place to go now in our network to start looking for that next job.” Alvarado explained.

The “Empowerment Zone” has also been launched in other cities, including Tampa, Colorado Springs, San Antonio and the entire state of Washington. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is planning to roll it out to Newark and Chicago and other locations later this year.

Categories: Local San Diego News, National & International News