With the holiday season here, there is no better time to reflect on our blessings and show our appreciation for the people who keep our nation safe. As we close out National Veterans and Military Families Appreciation Month, we want to recognize the sacrifices of the men and women who protect our freedom and their families.
The U.S. Department of Labor has a number of initiatives that benefit veterans and military spouses. One is promoting occupational licensing reform, which can help more military spouses and veterans get good jobs when they move across state lines. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor provided $7 million in grants to help states review and streamline their occupational licensing rules, including $1.5 million to help transitioning service members and veterans meet educational requirements for employment in selected licensed occupations.
Throughout 2019, the Department’s Women’s Bureau hosted listening sessions to learn more about the unique challenges facing military spouses and their employment options. These listening sessions provided insights on occupational licensing reform, expanding Transition Assistance Program offerings for military spouses, and the kinds of resources we can provide to employers that will best assist military families.
In 2020, it became increasingly clear that career reentry is a top consideration for military spouses, as for many women. Military spouses represent a tremendous talent pool that employers should consider.
That’s why the Women’s Bureau worked closely this year with the Department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service to develop four pilot courses for military spouses on entering the workforce or experiencing a career change.
And this November, we hosted a webinar, “What You Need to Know about Hiring Military Spouses,” with Elizabeth Larsen from Hiring Our Heroes and Carol Fishman Cohen of iRelaunch, to share resources to help employers connect with women veterans and military spouses.
As the workforce changes, so does the need for employment opportunities for veterans and military spouses. Many are highly skilled and can help sustain and strengthen America’s economic recovery. We encourage everyone to join us in honoring veterans and expressing our gratitude for the military families whose support makes their loved one’s service possible.
Visit our website to learn more about the Women’s Bureau and our centennial initiative: dol.gov/wb
The U.S. Department of Labor offers employment resources for military spouses.
Laurie Todd-Smith, Ph.D., is the director of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau. Follow the Women’s Bureau on Twitter at @WB_DOL.