Military Spouse Initiative

Tessa Robinson, HSMAI Foundation Military Spouse Consultant and Storyteller

Did you know? Military spouses face an unemployment rate that is four times the national average.The HSMAI Foundation is partnering with the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes to help this incredible, yet untapped, pool of talent find and grow careers in Hospitality Sales, Marketing and Revenue Management.

The HSMAI Foundation established an agreement with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Hiring our Heroes in Spring 2019 to collaborate on the establishment of workforce development initiatives for the hospitality sales and marketing industry providing both on the on the job training for military spouses and help with career opportunities globally.   The agreed goal was to develop and implement strategies to provide ongoing support to military spouses by providing pathways to employment opportunities in hospitality.

Why Military Spouses?

Because they face an unemployment rate that is four times the national average, while their spouses serve our country in active duty.  Military spouses are 91% women, 85% want or need to work, and 1 in 4 can not find jobs. But this effort isn’t just about doing the right thing, it is about building a long-term vision and roadmap to heighten business performance and bring new talent into the hospitality industry.

The first ever Military Spouse Fellowships, were launched on September 3rd, 2019 by the HSMAI Foundation and Hiring our Heroes, supported by the HSMAI Foundation and Accor hotels in the Washington, D.C. area. The Military Spouse Fellowships are by application process  (click here) which selects leading applicants to interview with supporting hotels in the DC area for 6-week paid experiential fellowships in sales, marketing and revenue management.

The first three military spouses selected for fellowships at Accor’s  Fairmont Georgetown and Sofitel Lafayette Square in Washington, DC, are:

Sarah A. Gillis

Sheila McCarty

Darling Vernon

The next call for Military Spouse Fellowship applications will be in November 2019 for a January 2020 start date.