On Friday, May 10th, Grow with Google, Google.org’s philanthropic arm, announced new tools and training programs designed to help military spouses build flexible, meaningful careers. Among the new initiatives, Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) was selected to provide 1,500 scholarships and support services for military spouses to complete the Google IT Support Professional Certificate training through IVMF’s Onward to Opportunity program. As part of the announcement, Blue Star Families, a longtime IVMF partner and leading nonprofit for military spouses, was also selected to provide in-demand digital skills training workshops throughout the next year.
“Military spouses are the unsung heroes of our armed forces. With frequent moves and families to care for while their partners are deployed, military spouses face steep challenges when trying to land a meaningful job,” said Jacquelline Fuller, President of Google.org. “As the child of a military family myself, I know firsthand these challenges. We created these tools and resources to honor the many military spouses who have done so much to serve our country.”
According to a recent study by the White House Council of Economic Advisors, there are nearly 700,000 military spouses living in the United States. At 16 percent, military spouses have a much higher unemployment rate than the country at large. Including part time employment, the under-employment rate of military spouses is 55 percent. While the unemployment rate for military spouses decreased in the past few years, the proportion in fact increased to nearly four times more likely to be unemployed compared to their civilian counterparts in 2017. Moreover, military female spouses, on average, make 37 percent less than civilian spouses and earn an estimated 40 percent less than their civilian peers.
“Meaningful employment remains a pressing concern for those who have shouldered the burden of our nation’s defense, to include military spouses,” said Dr. Mike Haynie, Vice Chancellor, Syracuse University and IVMF Executive Director and Founder. “We are excited to partner with Google.org and grateful for its support of our efforts to empower our military spouses as they pursue meaningful careers.”
Available on 18 military installations and online for distance learners, the Onward to Opportunity program provides end-to-end career preparedness and employment training and support for transitioning service members, veterans and military spouses, serving as the gateway to employment in over 30 in-demand career fields and connections to more than 800 employers.
The new training initiative comes on the heels of Google’s new job search function launched last month to surface more quality, full-time remote jobs. Users are now able to search for jobs that meet their interests then filter location to ‘work from home’ to see a list of relevant job listings that meet these criteria. Whether the jobs are listed as “remote”, “work from home” or “telecommute” opportunities, this filter does the work for the user and allows them to explore the opportunities available. Additionally, employers and job boards, such as Recruit Military, can provide this feature on their own career sites using Google Cloud’s Talent Solution.
In August of last year, Google created a tool to help transitioning service members land civilian jobs. Veterans and active service members can now search [“jobs for veterans”] on Google and then their military occupation code (MOS, AFSC, NEC, or rating) to see relevant civilian jobs that require similar skills to those used in their military roles.
Grow with Google is the tech company’s initiative to create economic opportunity for all Americans by sharing free digital tools, training, and expertise. Technology is changing the nature of work and Grow with Google aims to help everyone can get the skills they need to succeed. And in doing so release the untapped potential that’s in every community across the country. Now more than ever, Americans need digital skills to find jobs, advance their careers, or grow their businesses. Through free resources, flexible programs and in-person workshops, Grow with Google shares tools people can use to get ahead.