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Special Report: Military Spouses Finding It Difficult To Find A Job

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By Trish Williford, WSAV.com

Channel Milbourne is facing a bit of a struggle. The Army wife and mother of two has applied for job after job in the Savannah area since her family moved here from San Antonio a year ago.

Her husband is stationed at Ft. Stewart.

“I’ve been told that I couldn’t get a position because I could be PCS-ing this year and you know that’s not my fault. I got an interview with one of the hospitals, interview went great, sounded very positive, but I didn’t get anything, of course, they knew I was a spouse though,” says Milbourne.

She believes that’s the reason she hasn’t been hired — she’s a military wife.

“When it comes to hiring me, even though my resume is great, I have tons of experience, I have a degree in business they look at it like I’m not that reliable, because I could possibly move because my husband could get orders at any time, so they hold that against you.

Milbourne finally took a job at a military hospital in Virginia — hundreds of miles away from her husband and small children, but she needed to be closer to her family.

Milbourne isn’t alone, in fact, thousands of military spouses all across the country are finding it difficult to land a job.  According to military.com — military spouses have an unemployment rate of up to 18 percent.  Milbourne says she knows many wives who’ve given up on their search.

Blue Star Families is a national organization that coordinates services for military families.

They conducted a study about unemployed military spouses, and, found up to 42 percent of military spouses — or as many as 95,000, are jobless. The study also estimates that military spouses with a Bachelor’s Degree earn 40 percent less than their civilian counterparts. The study also found that more than half of those unemployed say having a spouse in the military has a negative effect on their ability to find a job. We reached out to officials at Fort Stewart about Milbourne’s problem and here’s what we found out.

Their Army Community Service Division hosts two job fairs every year — specifically for military spouses…the next one is April 19. The Division also has employment readiness classes designed to help spouses find employment.

Milbourne plans to use every resource possible to find a job.  And, she’s hoping potential employers will keep an open mind about hiring her and others like her.

“I just want employers to know that yes, we may move in six months, maybe a year, maybe two to five years, we don’t know, so don’t hold that against us,” she says.

By Trish Williford, WSAV.com