Microsoft is launching a new initiative to employ more military spouses - a population that suffers from an unemployment rate four times higher the average rate across the country.
Microsoft's chief of staff for military affairs recently announced the company is launching its inaugural Military Spouse Technology Academy this fall. The academy is part of the larger
Hiring 100,000 Military Spouses initiative, which is a coalition of companies and organizations under the U.S. Chamber of Commerce focused on employing military spouses.
"We here at Microsoft Military Affairs are proud to be a committed and founding supporter of our veterans and military spouses in helping to eradicate the staggering unemployment and underemployment rates for military spouses," said Danny Chung, Microsoft's military affairs chief, in a statement.
Earlier this summer,
Chung told Military Times that additional details on the academy would be released at a later date.
The unemployment rate for military spouses is four times higher than the national average, according to a 2017
survey conducted by Hiring Our Heroes. The survey found about 16 percent of military spouse are unemployed.
Under Microsoft's efforts, spouses will be able to participate in an academy that will teach technology skills, which are in high demand. According to government estimates, information technology occupations are projected to grow 12 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
In May, President Donald Trump signed an
executive order to increase the hiring of military spouses for federal government jobs.
Following the executive order, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched its Hiring 100,000 Military Spouses Initiate. The three-year campaign will raise awareness of military spouse unemployment and encourage employers to make commitments to hire military spouses.
"MOAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Hiring Our Heroes program collaborate throughout the year to bring MOAA's nationally award-winning professional development syllabus to military and veteran spouses on military installations around the world. The MOAA Military Spouse Professional Development program is supported by funding from the MOAA Military Family Initiative, a charitable MOAA foundation. We are supported in this vital work by USAA, an enduring MOAA affinity corporate partner, as well as a number of other outstanding corporate partners. These include Microsoft, Prudential and Starbucks, whose CEO, Kevin Johnson, received the 2018 MOAA Distinguished Service Award," says Mike Turner, MOAA Vice President of Development.
A coalition of several major businesses has signed on to be part of the initiative. Among those businesses are Amazon, Starbucks, Capital One, Carmax, Hilton, USAA, Prudential and Microsoft.
Amanda Dolasinski is MOAA's staff writer. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @AmandaMOAA.