MILITARY MATTERS: Bill proposed to help military spouses with employment
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - According to the National Military Spouse Network, nearly 1/4 of military spouses actively seeking a job were unemployed due to the pandemic. The rest are all from struggling spouses trying to keep a job down, a problem Army wife Tila Jernigan knows all too well.
“I’ve experienced overseas moves where I’ve been completely unemployed because there just wasn’t a lot of opportunities overseas for me to go to work,” said Jernigan, Director of Military & Veteran Services: Texas A&M Central Texas.
That’s why lawmakers proposed a bill that would give them $4,000 to find programs that jumpstart their careers. Spouses here in the U.S., those living overseas, and even those who have lost their loved ones while on active duty will all qualify.
“Internships provide great opportunities for military spouses. The mentorship and the valuable work experience they get from that and even networking opportunities can carry over into PCS moves which is a really big deal. Also, they could be reintegrating into the work force or going through a career change,” explained Jernigan.
The House Appropriations Committee’s Defense subcommittee has set aside $5 million for a pilot program just to see how it works. While many are anxious to see how it goes, Jernigan says it’s important to convince Congress how much this program could help.
“To ensure that we can get back to work when it’s required and we can be a contributing member of the team while having to sacrifice our careers, is an exceptional opportunity for military spouses across the board,” said Jernigan.
And the military families sacrifice just like the soldiers.
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