Developing New Career Opportunities for US Military Spouses

Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) Partner Induction Ceremony 2023

At WGNSTAR, we take pride in supporting veterans and military families. Through our recent U.S. Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), we are committed to providing meaningful employment opportunities within the semiconductor industry to military members and their families, including military spouses.

WGNSTAR at Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) Partner Induction Ceremony 2023
Jeannie Jesson, Director of HR (front row, 6th from left), represents WGNSTAR at the MSEP New Partner Induction Ceremony.

The MSEP connects military spouses with hundreds of partner employers who commit to recruiting, hiring, promoting and retaining them. Since its inception in 2011, MSEP employers have hired more than 275,000 military spouses. Offering meaningful employment to military spouses promotes financial stability, workforce retention and military readiness, all crucial to national security. The unemployment rate for military spouses stands at 21% according to the 2021 Survey of Active-Duty Spouses, much higher than the national average, due to frequent relocation and unstable environments that come with being a military member or family, as one of our own colleagues understands firsthand.

Military Spouses Face Employment Challenges

Amber Thompson, Head of Recruitment at WGNSTAR

As a spouse of an active serviceman for six years, Amber Thompson, Head of Recruitment at WGNSTAR, understands the employment challenges facing many military families. In Amber’s case, the most significant barrier she encountered when aiming to push her professional career forward was the need to relocate twice over six years, including three years overseas in Italy.

Before her husband joined the U.S. Army, Amber enjoyed establishing and building her career in human resources and recruiting through a full-time position at a rehabilitation facility. However, Amber had to leave this role when her husband’s enlistment in the Army required their family to relocate.

Despite her determination to continue her career, Amber encountered challenges in securing employment. During their initial relocation to Italy, Amber was unable to secure off-base work due to her non-working visa status. Additionally, the job market on the base was oversaturated, leaving Amber unemployed for three years. When her husband was relocated to Colorado after their time in Italy, Amber started looking for jobs in the area. However, her three-year employment gap while overseas made it difficult for her to get the HR/recruiting career she desired.

After her husband retired from the Army, they moved to Arizona. Given her difficulties finding employment back in Colorado, Amber was feeling disheartened when she started her job search again. Despite putting in effort and applying to 50 jobs within a month, her job search only resulted in a few interview opportunities, and even then, she faced similar challenges. Eventually, Amber landed a position as a Payroll Tax Assistant while she continued her search for an HR/recruiting role.

In 2020, Amber secured a position as Onboarding Coordinator at Westerwood Global, now WGNSTAR. She later transitioned to a recruiter role after a year and a half and has since been promoted three times from Senior Recruiter, Lead Recruitment Business Partner, and now to her current position as Head of Recruitment at WGNSTAR.

“The military spouse community often gets overlooked due to how frequently our spouses are relocated,” says Amber Thompson, Head of Recruitment at WGNSTAR. “Job seeking is defeating in itself, but when job seeking as a military spouse, you truly have more obstacles to overcome.”

Amber’s story is just one example of a military spouse encountering challenges to secure employment and why we look forward to being an MSEP employer partner. With the flourishing growth in the semiconductor and other high-tech industries, the number of jobs needed to sustain the momentum is significant. Part of the solution, and something that WGNSTAR truly believes, is hiring for aptitude rather than a resume. Every career needs a start and we’re proud to provide it, particularly when it helps military families succeed.