Wednesday, February 15, 2012

AFA Supports Efforts to Ease Spouse Employment Barriers

In addition to the release of the FY13 Defense Budget this week, a new report was unveiled today, addressing military spouses' employment challenges. 

AFA was represented today at a briefing in the Pentagon by First Lady Michelle Obama, in regards to supporting efforts to address the ongoing issues with obtaining occupational licenses after relocation that military spouses so often must undergo. The most recent efforts hope to remove career barriers and reduce an unemployment rate that's consistently higher than that of their civilian-life counterpoints.
In the report, authored by the Defense and Treasury departments, suggestions for how states can streamline their processes to better support them have been outlined. The First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey were all present to unveil the report.

"Because military spouses hold occupational licenses and often move across state lines, the patchwork set of variable and frequently time-consuming licensing requirements across states disproportionately affect these families,” the report says. “The result is that too many military spouses looking for jobs that require licenses are stymied in their efforts.”

In addition, AFA recently sent letters to Senators Olympia Snowe and Amy Klobuchar expressing support for the bill they recently presented to accelerate commercial license procedures (CLP) for Veterans. The bill calls on the Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the Secretary of Defense, to develop accelerated licensing procedures for veterans with relevant driving experience. These procedures will allow veterans to more easily obtain a civilian Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), without the long wait time and bureaucratic hassle the current process demands.

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