MET Spouse celebrates Ottawa launch
Military spouses of every walk and stage of life are invited to the official national launch of the Military Employment Transition for Spouse (METSpouse) Program on April 1. The METSpouse program was designed to assist military spouses in establishing a meaningful career path.
Recognizing that spousal employment is a major challenge for military families and that many companies within Corporate Canada have a desire to support military families, the program was developed by Canada Company and Military Family Services.
The program is open to spouses of regular force members, reservists, and veterans.
“Canada company said we need a program that will address the challenges faced by military spouses… it’s our way of saying ‘okay you’ve also contributed to the defence of this nation in all capacities so you shouldn’t be penalized because of that,’” said Kerry Wheelehan, senior business consultant for Canada Company.
The program aims to create an employer network where partnering employers are aware of the employability of military spouses, the creation of a mobile military spouse workforce and empowering spouses to achieve meaningful careers.
The METSpouse Program not only advocates to employer partners about the employability of spouse but also encourages them to provide the same level of qualifications and equal pay as civilian counterparts and explores remote work options for them during relocations.
“What we do is debunk the myths about military spouses. Often times employers don’t hire military spouses because they say they will be gone in two years, for example. That’s not always the case, number one, and number two, if they are gone in two years what they bring to the organization in those two years specifically adaptability, dedication, and motivation is not something you always find,” said Wheelehan.
The program is similar to Canada Company’s already running MET program for military members.
It is currently operating as a pilot project through the help of MFRCs. The seven pilot areas include Brandon, MB, Winnipeg, Quebec, National Capital, Toronto, Montreal, and Halifax.
Some of the employer partners include Bell, Belair direct, CIBC, Walmart, Michaels, GE, TD and many more.
A soft launch of the program has been running since Feb. 10 with a little more than 60 spouses signed up for the METSpouse Program.
Upon becoming a member, military spouses have access to E-Mentors, hot jobs, videos, and information.
Several top military officials will be present at Friday’s launch including former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Walter Natynczyk, his wife, Leslie Natynczyk, deputy commander of military personnel for and possibly the current CDS General Jonathan Vance.
The launch is an opportunity for spouses to connect with one another, join the METSpouse Program, meet employer partners and visit the METSpouse-MFRC Job Fair.
“I tell them come dressed like you’re going on an interview, bring your resume, bring your cover letter and get on the website. If you see jobs you’re interested in go to those employer partners and the HR folks at the launch and say ‘I saw this job is available. Here is my resume I’m very interested.’ Because this is an opportunity for one-on-one contact that they won’t have generally,” explained Wheelehan.
Friday’s launch will take place at the NCR-MFRC at 10 a.m. For more information call the NCR-MFRC at (613) 998-4888 or visit their website.
If you are a military spouse in close proximity to the pilot locations and want to register for the METSpouse Program visit or call your local MFRC.