First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Beshear Applauded by First Lady Michelle Obama for Work with Military Families

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, February 15, 2012  
Contact Information:  Parry Barrows

Military Spouse Task TeamWASHINGTON, D.C. – First Lady Jane Beshear’s continued work with Kentucky military families was recognized as an example of a successful government partnership during an event with First Lady Michelle Obama today at the Pentagon. 

First Lady Obama, joined by Dr. Jill Biden, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, unveiled a report detailing the challenges facing military families regarding employment.  Mrs. Beshear also met privately with the First Lady after the event to discuss ways Kentucky is seeking to assist military families in employment, education and adoption support.

“I was honored that the First Lady and Secretary Panetta mentioned Kentucky’s efforts in their comments today, as we have certainly made military families a priority,” said Mrs. Beshear.  “We owe a great debt not just to our service members, but also to the families that support them, and we will continue to do everything we can to improve their access to education and employment.”

The federal report, “Supporting our Military Families: Best Practices for Streamlining Occupational Licensing Across State Lines,” explains that military spouses move from state to state far more often than the general population as they accompany their service member on assignment to military bases around the country and overseas in the service to our nation. As a result of the frequency of moves associated with military life, spouses serving in professions that require state licenses or certification bear disproportionally high financial and administrative burdens because credentials from one state do not always transfer to another state. This burden negatively impacts employability for more than 100,000 military spouses.

Eleven states, including Kentucky, have enacted legislation that supports portability for military spouses with occupational licenses.  Thirteen others have legislation pending.

Last fall, Mrs. Beshear convened the nation’s first Military Spouse Task Team, which identifies issues important to military families, recommends solutions, and educates military families about resources available to them in Kentucky.