WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A program to boost meaningful employment among military spouses was launched on Wednesday at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with the participation of Jill Biden and the Department of Defense.
The Military Spouse Employment Partnership, the latest development in an effort backed by President Barack Obama's administration to do more to help military families -- the Joining Forces and Hiring our Heroes initiatives -- is aimed at streamlining employers access to military spouses.
Michelle Obama and Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, have been active as public spokeswomen for the initiative.
U.S. Chamber president and CEO Thomas Donohue said in a statement: "We have a shared goal with the Administration in giving employers access to a diverse and uniquely talented workforce."
"This starts with our nation's veterans and military spouses."
"Those who serve our nation deserve no less," he said. "But it is also the smart thing to do. It's good business."
A total of 72 employers including such Fortune 500 companies as AT&T and Home Depot and government agencies like the Social Security Administration have committed to hiring military spouses, according to a chamber statement.
The group is working to increase the number of partners.
The initiative is helping to identify employers willing to work with military families who often have to deal with frequent relocation and long separations.
Local job fairs hosted by the Chamber of Commerce throughout the country will take place as a part of the initiative, including a Los Angeles job fair involving an estimated 200 employers which will be attended by Great Britain's Prince William and wife Kate Middleton.
A website has been set up to help spouses and would-be employers link up. https://www.msepjobs.com
(Reporting by Wendell Marsh; Editing by Jerry Norton)