WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Blue Star Families, the largest national non-profit dedicated to supporting military families and strengthening communities, and Hiring Our Heroes (HOH), the nation’s leading non-profit helping veterans, military spouses, and transitioning service members find meaningful careers, convened to announce the launch of the 4+1 Commitment: The Formula for Military Spouse Success.
The two organizations are presenting the 4+1 Commitment, a first-of-its-kind, nationwide effort to tackle the 21% unemployment rate among military spouses. Dr. Jill Biden was in attendance and delivered remarks that spoke to the importance of supporting military families.
”We don’t just need spouses to have jobs. We need them to be able to keep those jobs, and turn them into careers. Hiring our Heroes and Blue Star Families are asking for 1,000 companies to commit to retaining more spouses. It’s ambitious, but together we can achieve it. And everyone in this room has a role in making this vision a reality,” said First Lady Jill Biden at the event.
Military spouse unemployment and underemployment is creating critical challenges for the military. Military spouses have long faced unemployment rates much higher than their civilian counterparts due to the demands of the military lifestyle—a fact evidenced by the 21% unemployment rate faced by military spouses. Military families are being forced to live on a single income when most Americans are benefitting from two incomes to meet their familial needs. This lack of opportunity is putting military families in a tough position between continued service or looking for opportunities outside of service.
“The 4+1 Commitment is the missing piece in the puzzle of solving the military spouse unemployment crisis,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, co-founder and CEO of Blue Star Families. “We’re proud to present this initiative with Hiring Our Heroes and in partnership with the Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership, and are excited to expand our work bringing together the public, private, and non-government sectors together to create meaningful solutions.”
The 4+1 Commitment asks employers in all sectors to adopt at least one military-spouse-friendly employment policy, plus consider joining an existing government spouse employment program.
- Facilitate job transferability
- Offer remote or telework
- Offer flexible work hours
- Provide paid Permanent Change of Station (PCS) leave
+1 : Consider joining an existing government spouse employment program
“America is at its best when the private and public sectors work together to meet the needs of our military community,” said Eric Eversole, President of Hiring Our Heroes. “The 4+1 commitment does exactly that. It encourages private and public sector partners to adopt policies to empower military spouses as they search for meaningful career opportunities."
The 4+1 Commitment: The Formula for Military Spouse Success is a scalable, actionable, and effective way for companies to commit to addressing and improving military spouse employment outcomes by committing to make at least one of four policy changes. Launched in partnership with the Department of Defense’s Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), original signatories include Starbucks, T-Mobile, PenFed Credit Union, Telemynd, USAA, Nextdoor, Navy Federal Credit Union, Comcast NBCUniversal, First Command Financial Services, and Booz Allen Hamilton. The goal is to have 1,000 signatories by the end of 2024. The commitment is a part of the Blue Star Families’ Do Your Part initiative, made possible by craig newmark philanthropies.
“Every day, Starbucks works to contribute positively to every community we serve and we know Veterans and military spouses make our company and our communities stronger. Starbucks is proud to build on its decade-long commitment to serving the military community by expanding our longtime partnership with Blue Star Families. As a founding partner of the Do Your Part coalition, Starbucks will continue to prioritize comprehensive, industry-leading benefits to better support Veterans, military spouses and their families,” said AJ Jones, II, Starbucks EVP & Chief Communications Officer,
To learn more about the 4+1 Commitment, please visit https://bluestarfam.org/4plus1/