Posted by: Tampa Bay Chamber on Thursday, May 5, 2022


In 1999, Congress officially designated Military Spouse Appreciation Day as part of National Military Appreciation Month to recognize the many sacrifices military spouses make as they support the men and women who serve our country.

According to recent research from Hiring Our Heroes more than 22% of military spouses are unemployed. This impacts the family’s financial security and military readiness.  Employers are uniquely positioned to impact this by providing opportunities for economic empowerment.

Last year, Tampa received 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.

You can support gainful employment for military spouses by leveraging these local resources:

  •  CareerSource Tampa Bay: With a designated Military Family Employment Advocate based at MacDill Air Force Base, CareerSource Tampa Bay is connecting military spouse talent with local employers for meaningful careers. To connect with the MFEA, contact Shalanda Ross at [email protected] or 813-397-2040.
  • Discover the Talent: Identify as a military spouse friendly employer which signals to military spouses that they can identify as a military spouse when applying for a job at YOUR company.
  •  Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Fellowship Program: This cutting-edge initiative provides military spouses with professional training, networking, and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. The professional development and direct connection to local employers offered through the 6-week program enable military spouses to quickly build their networks and gain localized job experience.
  • Operation Partnership: Each year the Tampa Bay Chamber hosts the Operation Partnership program which is a series of events that connects military spouses and transitioning service members with the business community. Chamber members are encouraged to host a military spouse on Civilian Career Day as they job shadow at your organization and build their professional network.
  • Tampa Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone (MSEEZ): The MSEEZ is focused on combating the economic impact military spouse unemployment and underemployment has on 21st century military families. The goal is to facilitate collaboration between local and national employers, educational institutions, and community resources. For more information contact Katie Lopez at [email protected]

 If you’re interested in learning more about how your company can support military spouses in the workforce, contact Katie Lopez, Sr. Director, Military & Workforce Development at [email protected] or 813-276-9455.