U.S. Chamber Foundation, USAA Launch Second
Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone in Tampa
Two Local Chambers, City Join Forces to Support 21st Century Military Families
TAMPA, FL — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes, in collaboration with USAA and the Greater Tampa and South Tampa Chambers of Commerce, today announced Tampa as the nation’s newest Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zone (MSEEZ). A collaborative effort among the local business, civic, and military communities to address the economic impact of military spouse unemployment and underemployment on 21st century military families, MSEEZ establish geographically-focused employment networks to connect military spouses to local career opportunities.
The launch of the Tampa MSEEZ comes on the heels of the designation of both the Greater Tampa and South Tampa Chambers as three-star Chambers of Valor. The three-star Chamber of Valor award is Hiring Our Heroes’ highest honor for local and state chambers; it recognizes their demonstrated leadership in connecting companies with talented veteran and military spouse candidates.
“Tampa has long been home to not only America’s active duty and their spouses but also veterans and their families,” said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. “It is truly an honor for the community to be recognized as one of the nation’s newest Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zones. The gift of employment is something no military spouse should have to stress about and this designation will help lift that burden."
The MSEEZ program grew from the findings of a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation study, Military Spouses in the Workplace, in which an overwhelming majority of employed military spouses said that having dual incomes was vitally important to their family, but only 50 percent of military families polled reported having dual-income status. This disparity places an added strain on military families and can ultimately factor into a service member’s decision to stay in or leave the military—factors that can hurt overall military readiness and retention.
Read the full press release here.