The HeroZona Foundation, Goldwater Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes program have announced a new military employment collaborative series highlighting Arizona’s veterans and military spouses. The kickoff event on Wednesday, April 24, will bring attention to the unique challenges faced by military spouses as they search for employment.
Regardless of the overall health of the economy, military spouses face challenges as they try to maintain meaningful employment while often moving multiple times during their spouse’s military career. From deployments to frequent moves to licensing and credentialing issues, military spouses are much more likely to face unemployment or underemployment as a direct result of their military lives; according to the Council of Economic Advisors, military spouses face an unemployment rate of 10%, while the average American is experiencing an unemployment rate of 4% or less.
“We’re excited to partner with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Goldwater Institute and political leaders to discuss the challenges faced by military spouses, and importantly, how Arizona is working to empower them in the workforce,” said HeroZona Foundation Co-Founder and Desert Storm Veteran, Alan “AP” Powell.
Governor Ducey recently signed House Bill 2569, which makes Arizona the first state in the country to recognize occupational licenses from other states. The new legislation will have a tremendous impact on military spouses, especially those in licensed careers, as it will allow them to transfer a professional license from any other state to Arizona. This will allow military spouses to expedite their ability to work and contribute to the financial well-being of their families. Arizona is the first state in the country to create such an open pathway into license careers for military spouses.
“Military spouses face a number of economic challenges that result from the transient nature of military life,” said Eric Eversole, President of Hiring Our Heroes. “Arizona is setting a high bar as it creates and expands employment opportunities for military spouses that will enable them to thrive and achieve economic success.”
The event will feature discussions from policymakers such as Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey; U.S. Arizona Senator, Martha McSally; and U.S. Texas Representative, Dan Crenshaw. The event will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Mountain Shadows Resort (5445 E. Lincoln Drive) in Paradise Valley. Other speakers includethe Director of National Litigation for the Goldwater Institute, Jon Riches; the President of Hiring our Heroes, Eric Eversole; President and CEO of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Glenn Hamer; and Herozona Foundation Co-Founder Aaron Bare. The event will be moderated by retired Navy Rear Admiral Hal Pittman, co-founder of the Arizona Corporate Council on Veteran Careers.
“Not only do we owe our veterans and their families a debt of gratitude, but we also owe them every opportunity to succeed in meaningful careers when they return home from service,” said Jon Riches, Director of National Litigation for the Goldwater Institute and officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. “Veterans offer unmatched leadership experience and in-demand skills that are valuable assets to employers and to our state. The Goldwater Institute is proud to partner in this effort to help veterans and their spouses get connected to career opportunities and thrive in Arizona.”
The following day on Thursday, April 25, there will be a Community Leadership Roundtable discussion hosted by the HeroZona Foundation and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes program. The roundtable will take place at Squire Patton Boggs (1 East Washington Street) in Phoenix from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The community discussion will define the current and future labor force landscape, address ongoing challenges and establish pathways to meaningful careers for military connected talent. This event is by invitation only and will include military and civic leadership, industry partners and service organizations.