According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey, military spouses face higher rates of unemployment than other adults.
Surveys also show whether they want to or not, military spouses more often than the general population end up with part-time employment, and face other hurdles as well.
Many times military spouses are affected by barriers such as occupational licensing that prevent them from joining the workforce when they move to a new state, but thanks to the passage Senate Bill 1200, some spouses may have an easier and quicker path to full-time employment in Texas.
Adrene Wike is both a combat veteran and military spouse who, because of her job, director of research for the Chamber of Commerce, knows first hand the challenges military spouses face when they change duty assignment locations.
“They face a lot of barriers as far as employment goes and a lot of them feel they are underemployed because they just come to an area to get a job, they felt like they are discriminated against because they are spouses and they are only going to be here temporarily,” Wike said
The setback of not having the right certification when they move from state to state, but it’s initiatives like SB 1200 that both Wike and Airman and Family Readiness Center Chief Michelle Schroeder said can be game changers.
“With that reciprocity and recognizing that license or certificate from another state that is really going to be a benefit,” Schroeder said.
SB 1200 states effectively Sept. 1, out-of-state professional licenses of spouses will be valid the first three years when transferred to a military installation in Texas.
“I work a lot with workforce development so knowing that it’s going to kinda just break some of those barriers to the spouses and increase our workforce here in Wichita Falls specifically,” Wike said.
Schroeder and Wike said anything that makes transition and life in a new community for military families is a good thing.
The certifications and licenses include fields in Education, Medicine, Cosmetology, Real Estate and more, however, after three years, new licenses in Texas must be obtained.
There is another new measure that will reimburse military spouses for their certification costs.
For more details on SB 1200, follow this link.
Military Spouses can contact The Airman and Family Readiness Center on base or the Chamber of Commerce for details.