Blue Star Families’ Spouseforce Program
Helping serve the loved ones of those who serve our country
We are proud to contribute $50,000 in support of Blue Star Families’ Spouseforce careers program, which connects military spouses to employment opportunities in their communities. This way we will help serve the loved ones of those who have served our country. Nationally, the unemployment rate of our Nation’s military spouses is at 24% and 95% of those spouses are women.
AT&T’s support will help impact veteran spouse employment through Spouseforce, a careers program for military spouses. Based on responses to the Blue Star Families’ 2016 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, 51% of military families identify spouse under/unemployment as a top obstacle to financial security. As a company, we’re proud to hire veterans and their family members and to support training and skills-building programs that put veterans on the path to career success. We recently reached our goal to hire 20,000 veterans by 2020, and we remain focused on identifying new opportunities for veterans and their families so that they can continue to succeed in a variety of industries.
A great example of our commitment to hiring military veterans and their families is Jamie Rufolo, a military spouse who has been with the company for the past 20 years. AT&T initially hired Jamie in 1999 after she had worked with the company as a college intern. After she married her husband, U.S. Army Major Dennis Rufolo, in 2006, Jamie's family has relocated almost every 2 years to new military posts.
AT&T made it possible for Jamie to build her career while supporting her husband's service and caring for her family. During her time with AT&T, Jamie has held 10 positions in 10 cities from coast to coast and traveled for work assignments to more than 16 countries and 26 states.
Alongside her career at AT&T, where she trains and supports FirstNet consultants who deliver lifesaving tools to America's first responders, Jamie makes time to help other military families by providing mutual support. Jamie formerly served as National President of the AT&T Veterans Employee Group, comprised of ~10,000 employees across the nation, understanding personally the sacrifices and unique life challenges that military life brings.
Jamie says she had no idea when she first joined AT&T how much her lifestyle and circumstances would change. Still, she is grateful to have found a company that recognizes the importance of military service and supporting military families. It is stories like hers that remind us of how important it is to support initiatives like Spouseforce to make a true social and economic impact.