Posted by: Tampa Bay Chamber on Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Tampa receives the Military Spouse Impact Award for Community of the Year by Hiring Our Heroes, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. This award recognizes a community and its leaders for their efforts in creating a strong, inclusive community that allows military spouses to thrive both inside and outside of the gates.

“Hiring Our Heroes created Military Spouse Empowerment Zones (MSEEZ) to bring together local and national employers, local Chambers, installations and other community partners to build robust employment networks for military spouses,” said Elizabeth Larsen, director of community event and programs at Hiring Our Heroes. “As one of the first zones to be designated, the Tampa MSEEZ is a perfect example of what we had in mind and the military spouses who live in the Tampa community are benefiting from their efforts to provide them with professional development training and connections to employers as well as advocating on their behalf.”

In 2018, Tampa was one of the first communities to be designated as a Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone (MSEEZ) because of its commitment to military spouse employment. Since then, the working group has grown to include 45 local employers with the unwavering support of the local installation, local Chambers of Commerce, and the business community. In 2020, they set clear goals aligned to the MSEEZ’s hire, train, and advocate pillars resulting in the creation of a local military spouse employer directory which creates a direct line of communication from Military Spouse Professional Network members to local hiring managers at military spouse ready companies- with the goal of reducing the time to hire after a PCS to this area.

“We’ve always known that the community in Tampa Bay is strong and that our business community is equally robust, but to see the work that has been done to support our military families, and more specifically military spouses is incredible,” said Bob Rohrlack, Tampa Bay Chamber President & CEO. “We are proud to be one of the Tampa Bay companies who have pledged to hire military spouses and have hired both military spouses and veterans who are currently working on our chamber team. We’re proud to live, work, and play in a community that not only says they support military families, but that actively puts words into action to support our nation’s heroes.”

The MSEEZ has also hosted industry events with some of the largest employers in the area, building camaraderie and sharing best practices among employers while also educating spouses about what makes this local economy unique. Additionally, the MSEEZ worked with the Tampa Bay Chamber to advocate for statewide tracking of military spouse unemployment during the 2021 legislative session.

“We are incredibly proud for Tampa to receive the Military Spouse Impact Award for Community of the Year,” said Kelly Flannery, South Tampa Chamber of Commerce President & CEO. “We have an underutilized, educated, and highly skilled pool of talent right here in our own backyard. We look forward to continuing to work with the U.S. Chamber, Hiring Our Heroes, and local partners to bridge the gap between military families and the business community.”

Tampa Bay Companies Who Have Pledged To Hire Military Spouses:

9Line LLC

MCS of Tampa

AAA The Auto Club Group

Mears Group

Alight Yoga

Moffitt Cancer Center


National Veterans Chamber of Commerce


NexTech Solutions

Andesa Services, Inc.

Northwestern Mutual

Aramark Services, Inc.

Paragon Cyber Solutions, LLC

Barry University

Quiet Professionals

Booz Allen Hamilton

Saint Leo University

Bright Investments, LLC

St. Petersburg College

CVS Health

Starbucks Coffee Company

Empath Health

Tampa Bay Chamber

Exchange Analytics

Tampa General Hospital


The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay

Hillsborough County BOCC


Huntington Learning Center and School of South Tampa

VetCor, LLC

Law Offices of Julianne M. Holt, Public Defender, 13th Judicial Court

Western Governors University

Loyal Source Government Services

WWC Global

For more information and to have your company included in the Military Spouse Employer Directory, please contact Katie Lopez, Director of Military and Workforce Development at The Tampa Bay Chamber at [email protected].