February 13, 2012
Office of White House Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C. – First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden will join Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, on Wednesday, February 15th at 3:00 PM at the Pentagon to unveil a new report outlining opportunities and best practices for states to better support military spouses serving in professions with state licensure requirements.
The report, “Supporting our Military Families: Best Practices for Streamlining Occupational Licensing Across State Lines,” explains that military spouses move from state to state far more often than the general population as they accompany their service member on assignment to military bases around the country and overseas in the service to our nation. As a result of the frequency of moves associated with military life, spouses serving in professions that require state licenses or certification bear disproportionally high financial and administrative burdens because credentials from one state do not always transfer to another state. This burden negatively impacts employability for more than 100,000 military spouses.
Among the nearly 50 professions impacted by state licensure requirements are teachers, nurses, speech pathologists, dental hygienists, physical therapists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, occupational therapists, social workers, physician assistants, emergency medical technicians and dieticians. Eleven of 50 states presently have enacted legislation that supports portability for military spouses with occupational licenses.
Nearly half of America’s men and women in uniform are married and the Department of Defense views military spouse employment as an important component of maintaining a high quality, all-volunteer force well into the future. Military spouses throughout the country have said that their employment plays a key role in the financial and personal well-being of their families and is a definite factor in their family’s decision to remain in the military.
This report is the direct result of President Obama’s Presidential Study Directive released in January of 2011, calling on all Executive Branch Agencies to find new ways to provide military families with the support they deserve.
Media interested in covering this open press event held at the Pentagon should email FirstLadyPress@who.eop.gov by Tuesday, February 14th at 12:00 PM.