It’s no secret that military spouses can struggle to find employment, with career gaps due to moving or full pivots in their professions for a variety of reasons. Organizations like the Military Spouse Employment Partnership exist to help military spouses plug into careers they might not have otherwise had access to. MSEP is part of the Department of Defense’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities, or SECO, initiative, which seeks to strengthen the education and career opportunities of military spouses.
“This partnership is an incredibly important pipeline directly into the military spouse community,” Theresa Hoehne, Black Rifle Coffee Company’s talent acquisition director, said. “This Department of Defense-led initiative connects military spouses with hundreds of partner employers, such as Black Rifle Coffee Company, who have committed to recruit, hire, and retain military spouses.”
Photo credit Joshua Raulerson/Black Rifle Coffee Company.
“We were invited to join MSEP, and literally halfway through the interview, they stopped us and told us that we’re in,” Hoehne said. “That, to me, is a pretty good sign that we’re in the right place.”
Now in it’s 10th year, MSEP works to vet companies nationwide to ensure that the military spouses participating are supported in the right way. These partner companies vow to increase employment opportunities for military spouses and to do their best to maintain those opportunities, even when the spouses have to relocate. The partner companies also work to provide room for advancement as the military spouses continue to perform well.
“Not everyone thinks about us as an employer of choice,” Hoehne said. “We have an amazing entertainment brand and consumer brand but that doesn’t always translate directly to our being a great employer, and these partnerships allow us to really get out into the community and show that we can toe the line with the most well-known veteran employers.”
Photo by Joshua Raulerson/Black Rifle Coffee Company.
As a part of MSEP, BRCC has the ability to proactively and directly tap into the military spouse community.
“A PCS, or any move, is stressful,” Hoehne said. “Having access to military-friendly employers who understand the challenges that come with being a part of a military family helps to alleviate some of that stress.”
For example, when a spouse is in the MSEP network, as they get ready for a permanent change of station, MSEP works to connect them with other MSEP partners so that they can maintain employment. Black Rifle Coffee also has the ability to post on a global job board to connect with military spouses and do the interview process before they move.
“This is why we exist,” Hoehne said. “We make a damn fine cup of coffee, but the core of why we exist is to help give the community meaningful work to help build their resumes.”