WASHINGTON — The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative recently joined efforts to lead and support military spouse employment at VA and throughout the federal government, and reduce the high unemployment rate for military spouses.
Effective July 29, this initiative is part of both Secretary Wilkie’s priority of improving the customer and employee experience, as well as the Department of Defense’s (DOD) priority of retaining service members and supporting military families.
As one of only 10 federal agencies and the only VA entity that is a member of DOD’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board) — with the support of the Veterans Experience Office (VEO) and Office of Human Resources and Administration (HR&A) — will lead the effort focusing on the experience, skills and values that military spouses bring to their jobs such as resiliency, agility, global citizenship and unique understanding of the challenges of the Veterans and their families.
“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,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Military spouses bring a unique perspective to the federal workplace, and I am proud that VA is leading the charge in this area.”
The effort will encourage both the use of the military spouse hiring authority — as well as federal government participation in MSEP — and leverage best practices to improve the employee experience and achieve a successful, collective impact, for this population. As VA’s representative, the Board’s best practices will serve as an example for other government agencies who wish to hire, retain and promote military spouses.