WISCONSIN DESIGNATED AS FIRST NATIONAL GUARD & RESERVE COMPONENT MILITARY SPOUSE ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT ZONE IN NATION

   

    The Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with multiple state agencies, and the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, convened for a Community Engagement Event on Thursday, February 14th, 2019, to discuss the issue of Military Spouse unemployment and underemployment in the State of Wisconsin.

    This event laid the groundwork for Wisconsin to be designated as a Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone on June 4, 2019, the first such designation in the country focusing on spouses of National Guard and Reserve component service members. The designation brings together employers and business leaders to commit to hiring military spouses in Wisconsin.



Unemployment and underemployment remain persistent issues faced by military spouses. Due to the inherent demands of serving in the military, spouses are often overlooked by employers due to gaps in employment or multiple short-term positions.  According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 92 percent of military spouses are female and the unemployment rate for this population is four times the national average. 


 

    “We know that when veterans, service members, and military families succeed, Wisconsin succeeds. This program is just another example of what sets Wisconsin apart for military veterans and their families- a commitment to ensuring they have every opportunity to reach their full potential. It is our privilege to support that effort,” concluded Newton.
    We encourage employers to engage by committing to support their military spouse employees, and by seeking to hire more military spouses.  Military Spouses, start the conversation with your employers about this MSEEZ program, encourage them to participate.  Stay tuned as this program develops across Wisconsin.