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Military spouses face employment challenges

Military spouses face employment challenges
Posted at 6:34 PM, May 04, 2021

COLORADO SPRINGS — Military spouses face a very high unemployment rate, even though many are highly educated.

Rebecka O'Neal was turned down for a dozen promotions in her last job, and she says it was because of her family's military lifestyle.

O'Neal is just one of the thousands of spouses who have gone through the same thing.

"People wanted me, but people didn't want to promote me and that was terrible," said Rebecka O'Neal, military spouse.

According to Colonel Nate Springer, Fort Carson Garrison Commander, military spouses are underutilized in the workforce by 20%.

"Spouse employment is certainly putting people first. It is an essential part of our quality of life initiatives, but effectively caring for and prioritizing our families takes dedication and commitment," said Matt McFarlane, Commanding General.

A ceremony held at Fort Carson on Tuesday highlighted the partnership between Fort Carson and the employers in our area who are committed to recruiting and hiring military spouses.

The Army Community Service Center, an employment program on post, helps military spouses to find jobs and develop the skills needed in employment.

"When they get here they immediately feel like they are embraced by the community they have support services," said Kristen Kea, Division Chief, Army Community Service.

It's important for people like O'Neal and her husband to feel the support and commitment before moving into a new community.

"We live now in Colorado Springs, and this is the greatest place and so many opportunities, but where are the opportunities for the military spouses?" said O'Neal.

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