Virginia Summit on Military Spouse Employment with Senator Tim Kaine

An invitation from Blue Star Families CEO, Kathy Roth-Douquet:

More than 25,000 unemployed military spouses in Virginia?!  Someone needs to do something about that!  Blue Star Families is working to be part of the solution.  We are so excited to co-convene a Virginia military spouse employment summit with Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (and a Blue Star Dad), leadership from the Department of Defense and the US Army, Blue Star’s own Sheila Casey and Katie McMaster and spouses like you, top-notch employers represented by the Consumer Technology Association and the Northern Virginia Technology Council will also participate.

What do we want? Flexible jobs that meet the demands of the military lifestyle, with remote work opportunities, and career progression!  When do we want it?  Well, now wouldn’t be too soon!

Be sure to watch this monumental event on FACEBOOK LIVE (Monday, October 23 at 11:30am EST).  Be sure to send us your questions or comments and we will share them with the Senator, the DoD, and employers!

To see a video of Kathy’s full message, please click here.

MEET OUR PANEL OF MILITARY SPOUSES

Katy Mills

Katy MillsKaty was in ROTC, in a pre-veterinary program when she and her husband entered active service. Their marriage could not sustain overlapping deployments, so Katy separated from the service. Frequent moves ruled out returning to veterinary school. Katy trained as a yoga instructor but has been unable to maintain a client base with frequent moves. On Monday, you can hear her speak first-hand on Facebook LIVE about her childcare obstacles that have prevented her from seeking further job training.

 

Carmen Emborski

Carmen Emborski

Carmen has nearly six years of experience as a military spouse and also served as a Key Spouse at the unit and group level supporting military families and advocating for spouses. Despite her M.S. in Biology, she has been unable to secure meaningful employment in the D.C. region. Additionally, completing her Ph.D. has proven difficult due to obstacles of funding (losing in-state tuition), relocating (including an overseas move), and transferring paperwork internationally. Listen to Carmen talk about her recommendations for in-state/resident tuition rates for military spouses who PCS while seeking a degree.

 

Patricia Ochan

Patricia OchanPatricia put aside her full-time career three years ago to care for her husband, who sustained injuries while in combat. She has a Master of Science in Cybersecurity Policy and a law degree from the George Washington University School of Law, where she will pursue a Doctoral degree in Homeland Security Management. Despite Pat’s impressive professional experience in human services and her prowess in obtaining a degree in cybersecurity, she remains unable to find full-time work that makes use of her skills. She has come to think that forfeiting her career has been the price of taking time off to provide full-time care for her husband. Hear Pat tell her story on Facebook LIVE on Monday.

 

Allison Behm Strouse

Allison Behm Strouse

Though Allison is currently employed, she has chosen to return to school to compete in the market. Due to part-time positions in her work history, and moves across states with varied pay scales she has struggled to promote through the GS system. She is currently working toward a degree in business from UMUC. Allison volunteers for many organizations in the area, including InDependent DC and American Red Cross. She also serves as the key spouse for her husband’s group at the Pentagon but is looking forward to speaking on Monday of the need for education for military spouses navigating Gov/PPP/Military hiring avenues.

 

Fleurette McNair

Fleurette McNair

Flo has a Master Degree in Health Administration and fifteen years of experience. However, she was forced to give up her career when, shortly after their marriage, her husband received orders to move and her company could not offer her an opportunity to work remotely from her new location. Flo’s attempts to find remunerative work have been foiled by frequent moves. The few job offers she has received would not have covered the cost of childcare. If you agree with Flo that we need a standardized process for installation counselors to advise and assist spouses in navigating their career opportunities, be sure to tune into Facebook LIVE on Monday!