In the past five years of economic recession and slow recovery, we’ve all gotten uncomfortably familiar with jobless rates in this country. If unemployment hasn’t touched you personally, you likely know someone it has. And if you’re the husband or wife of a military service member, you know far too well how a persistent lack of work affects your particular demographic. As of December, the national unemployment rate is at seven percent—compared to a sobering 26 percent among military spouses. [U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics]
While military spouses are often degreed, experienced, and otherwise highly qualified, the fact that their lives demand frequent moves to far-flung bases makes employers hesitant to hire. Fortunately there’s a shift in the tide taking place across the nation, and St. Louis-based Marcone Supply is helping lead the way to getting “trailing spouses” into the jobs they want.
In 2010, CEO Jim Souers signed Marcone on as a flagship member of the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network, part of Michelle Obama’s Joining Forces initiative. Since that time, the company has been hiring—and retaining—husbands and wives of service members.
“There’s always the fear of starting a new career because you never know how long you will be at any given base,” says Eva Rogers, Retail Lead at Marcone’s St. Louis call center and wife of retired Air Force Master Sergeant and active Reservist Anthony Rogers. “This job gives me scheduling flexibility and the virtual access I need to do my job from home. Not many companies are willing to accommodate this lifestyle, but Marcone’s support of the military is a truly remarkable approach.”
With storefronts and call centers throughout the country, MSCCN hires can easily check in or work from a Marcone location. But because the jobs can be done by telecommuting, employees take their jobs with them when their families are relocated.
“We see it as a common sense way to help military families,” says Souers. “We’re happy to offer opportunities to these talented people and to have their skills at work for us in return. It’s a win-win relationship for everyone.”
Marcone Supply is a major appliance parts distributor with over 50 stores across North America. The company was established in 1932, and is a long-time contributor to several military support organizations including the Navy League, Fischer House Foundation, and HEROES Care.