The Veterans Administration (VA) has launched a new Military Spouse Network to create a pipeline of military spouse employees with the goal of hiring military spouses, but also retaining them through change of station moves and developing them throughout their career, according to Military.com.
The network, announced in a VA press release, is a joint effort between the VA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative to lead and support military spouse employment throughout the federal government and to reduce military spouse unemployment.
The initiative, effective late last month, is part of VA Secretary Robert Wilkie’s priority to improve VA’s customer and employee experience as well as DOD’s priority of retaining service members and supporting military families, according to the release.
“This type of intergovernmental collaboration to promote the hiring and retention of military spouses, is important not only for current servicemen and women and their families, but also for Veterans and their families,” Wilkie said in the release. “Military spouses bring a unique perspective to the federal workplace, and I am proud that VA is leading the charge in this area.”
The VA is one of only 10 federal agencies that is a member of DOD’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), along with its Board of Veterans’ Appeals, which will focus on the experience, skills and values military spouses bring such as resiliency, agility, global citizenship and understanding the challenges of veterans and their families, the release said.
The new network will encourage the use of military spouse hiring authority, as well as federal government participation in MSEP, and leverage best practices to improve VA employee experience while being an example for other agencies seeking to hire, retain and promote military spouses.
Air Force photo by Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh