Central Texas College (CTC) participated in a signing ceremony at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. recently to become the newest inductee into the Army Spouse Education Partnership (ASEP) program. CTC is the only American educational institution among the nearly 60 Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies and other businesses who pledged their best efforts to increase employment and career opportunities for spouses.
Established in 2003, ASEP is intended to offer corporate employment opportunities to the spouses of active military personnel. In partnering with a variety of national corporations and businesses, the Army provides a wide collection of potential career opportunities for eligible military spouses. Spouses of active duty service members with a rank of private to sergeant and second lieutenant to captain are eligible to participate in ASEP.
Over the last several years, ASEP partners have worked together to craft a single strategic focus for hiring Army spouses. Their combined efforts have resulted in a commitment to the common goal of better opportunities for the spouses of men and women in uniform.
“We are very pleased to be a part of this program as it represents a further extension of our dedication to assist the military,” noted Dr. James Anderson, CTC chancellor. “We recognize the difficulties numerous relocations can bring including employment. Through ASEP, military spouses can turn to member companies to overcome these obstacles and achieve long-term employment.”
Two-thirds of more than 510,000 Army spouses are 32 years old or younger. About 80 percent are married to enlisted soldiers and live in the continental U.S. 19 percent of spouses, however, are stationed overseas, including Alaska and Hawaii. For this reason, Army spouses bring the benefits of the ethnic diversity, native culture and language background that are in great demand in the international business community. While 70 percent of Army spouses have college, vocational or post-secondary education, they are hindered by limited job experience because of frequent relocations.
In 2008, ASEP partners hired more than 8,200 military spouses bringing the total of spouses employed to 42,100. Many businesses have added specialized tracking mechanisms focused on military spouses on their web pages. ASEP partners have also tailored human resources strategies and implemented adaptive hiring and recruiting processes within their organizations to meet the unique needs of the military spouse.
16 new members, including CTC, signed on for ASEP at the AUSA national meeting last month. It also marked the first time overseas businesses have become members as the Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Woosong University in Taejon, South Korea, pledged support to Army spouses in Korea. ASEP plans further expansion to Germany and Japan in the near future.