Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, introduced new legislation to help reduce military spouse unemployment and examine the effects of frequent moves and reassignments on military spouses’ careers. The Military Spouse Employment Act of 2018 expands hiring and career opportunities, improves access to continuing education programs, helps ensure military families can find affordable child care, and provides better transition and employment resources for military spouses. Military families often face financial insecurity due to spousal unemployment, which can harm the overall success of our military.
Gillibrand is joined by U.S Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Co-Chair of the Senate Military Family Caucus, and Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
“Our service members and their families make enormous sacrifices for our country, and Congress has a responsibility to make sure we provide them with stability and support,” said Senator Gillibrand, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee. “This bill would help give spouses of service members more access to employment opportunities, expanded job training and educational opportunities, and counseling when they transition to civilian life. I am proud to fight in the Armed Services Committee to improve the lives of military families and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation.”
Senator Gillibrand has long pushed legislation to aide military families’ stability. This past year, Gillibrand fought in the Senate Armed Services Committee to include new programs and funding to support them in the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bipartisan Availability of Child Care for Every Servicemember and Spouse (ACCESS) Act and The Military Family Stability Act both passed into law as part of the NDAA.
The Military Spouse Employment Act of 2018 tackles four main areas:
· Employment Opportunities
o Boosts military spouses’ competitiveness in the job market
o Supports military spouse entrepreneurship
· Continuing Education and Training
o Instructs the Department of Defense to expand educational opportunities for military spouses
o Makes it easier for military families to find affordable child care by ensuring that the Department of Defense is providing adequate access to care
· Counseling and Transition Assistance
o Provides military spouses with training and resources to ease their families’ transitions to civilian life
This legislation is endorsed by Blue Star Families, Military Officers Association of America, the National Military Families Association, Military Family Advisory Network, and The American Legion.
More information on the Military Spouse Employment Act of 2018 can be found here.