Spouses of military members will proudly state that supporting the defense of our nation and their partner’s career are among the most important factors of redeployment. Their own career tends to rank lower on the to-do list.
This month, the NC Office of State Human Resources launched a new initiative to support state-employee spouses of military members and help them connect with resources to keep their own public service careers on course.
The NC Military Spouse Transition Network is available to all identified military spouses working for state government agencies in member states of the National Association of State Personnel Executives. The program is designed to help military spouses moving to or leaving North Carolina access career resources, including resume building, skills translation and informal contacts to support military spouse re-employment.
Such services are greatly needed. A 2021 Blue Star Family survey found that 43% of active-duty families said spousal unemployment is an issue for them. The survey also found that 20% of military spouses in the labor force are unemployed and actively seeking work, and under-employment is an issue for 63% of spouses.
Soon after the initiative was announced, we heard from a person who moved to North Carolina as the spouse of a redeployed military member. Unable to find a job in her former career, she accepted an opportunity at a state agency, where she finds the work fulfilling. When an inevitable redeployment notice arrives, she said, “I love my job and really hope I can land a similar job in another state. The Military Spouse Transition Network will be a great resource when that time comes.”
While OSHR cannot guarantee jobs for program participants, we look forward to serving as a bridge to help state-employee spouses of military members make progress in securing gainful public service employment.
Kristin Siemek, State Talent Acquisition Manager
NC Office of State Human Resources