PHOENIX, Jan. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As of June 2011, the unemployment rate for military spouses was 26 percent, according to a study by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the national unemployment average as only 8.6 percent.
To help combat the higher unemployment rate among America's military spouses, TriWest Healthcare Alliance has recently joined the Military Spouse Employment Partnership—a targeted recruitment and employment solution to connect spouses from all military branches to private companies seeking their skill sets.
Combating Military Spouse Unemployment
TriWest—the company responsible for managing the military's healthcare benefit, TRICARE, for 2.9 million beneficiaries in 21 western states—was recently named the number two most military-spouse-friendly employer in America. This is the third consecutive year TriWest made Military Spouse Magazine's top-20 list.
- Sponsors the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network: offers virtual and in-person meetings or webinars helping military spouses with resumes, employment resources, training to update skill sets, and assistance in finding employment resources in their current location or the area to which they're relocating.
- Participates in Hiring Our Heroes: an initiative launched by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help veterans and their spouses find meaningful employment. TriWest was named a top-five finalist for the Hiring our Heroes Veteran and Military Spouse Employment Award.
- Sponsors Army Wife Network's West Region Spouse Field Exercises: on-site workshops for Army posts and Guard/Reserve units, geared toward empowering individuals to make the right choices in their relationship, career, or personal lives.
Support for Military Spouse Employees
About 20 percent of TriWest's recruitment budget is set aside for military spouses. Additionally, at any given time, 10 to 30 employees at TriWest have a spouse who is deployed. To support its military spouse employees, TriWest offers the "We Care" program, which:
- Designates temporary, alternative work schedules for spouses to accommodate transitioning to a single-head-of-household during mobilization
- Offers a reduction of work hours less than full-time status without losing full-time benefits
- Provides eligibility for paid time off
- Grants two phone cards totaling 100 minutes per month
- Offers eligibility for eight hours of administrative leave, with pay, to attend homecoming ceremonies
"My favorite thing about working at TriWest during spouse deployments is the encouragement I received from the company," said Jenny Hall, a beneficiary services education representative at TriWest, who spent six of her years at the company while her husband served active duty. "During Christmas, (TriWest CEO) Mr. McIntyre sent gifts to my children and myself. And when my spouse returned, I was given the day off to welcome him home, with each deployment. Working at TriWest is like being part of a family."
TriWest Healthcare Alliance partners with the Department of Defense to do "Whatever It Takes" to support the healthcare needs of 2.9 million members of America's military family. A Phoenix-based corporation, TriWest provides access to cost-effective, high-quality health care in the 21-state TRICARE West Region. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or visit www.triwest.com for more information.
SOURCE TriWest Healthcare Alliance