Today, Second Lady Karen Pence, joined by the Secretary of the Air Force, Barbara M. Barrett, visited Davis-Monthan and Luke Air Force Bases. Mrs. Pence delivered remarks to spouses at both bases, thanking them for their important contributions to our communities and addressing their unique employment challenges.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, military spouses faced a 24% unemployment rate. Spouses and their families move, on average, every two to three years due to their loved ones military assignment. Each move creates the need for spouses to constantly readjust to new state licensing laws and fees for training, certificates, and applications. During Mrs. Pence’s remarks, she shared the work underway in the Trump Administration to create employment solutions for military spouses. The Second Lady also directed the spouses to resources and programs that could help them find meaningful career opportunities.
Following her remarks at Davis Air Force Base, Mrs. Pence received a briefing from the senior military leaders and members of the mental health and resiliency teams. They presented information about military spouse, family, and mental health programs available on base. Mrs. Pence discussed the role to help address mental health for veterans, service members, and their families.
Following the base visits, the Second Lady participated in a roundtable discussion on military spouse licensing reform in Phoenix with the Governor of Arizona, Doug Ducey and local business and organization leaders. Mrs. Pence delivered brief remarks about the importance of finding military spouse employment solutions at the local, state, and federal level and applauded the Governor’s work in addressing military spouse employment issues. Additionally, Mrs. Pence had the opportunity to hear from military spouses who benefited from Arizona’s occupational licensing reform legislation. In April of 2019, the Governor signed House Bill 2569, making Arizona the first state in the nation to allow universal recognition for occupational licenses for new residents.
“Military spouses do so much for the defense and strength of our armed forces and they deserve our care and understanding,” said Second Lady Karen Pence. “It was a great honor to provide encouragement to our nation’s military spouses in Arizona, and speak to them about employment solutions. Arizona has been a leader in providing and improving the quality of employment opportunities for our military spouses. It is our duty to prioritize providing fulfilling career opportunities for our military spouses.”
Second Lady’s Military Spouse Campaign
Mrs. Pence launched an awareness campaign in September of 2018 to elevate and encourage military spouses while also recognizing their unique employment challenges. Mrs. Pence has traveled the country meeting spouses, business leaders, and government officials advocating for more fulfilling career opportunities for military spouses.