Our virtual series kicked-off in September with a workshop dedicated to highlighting federal and state collaboration on enhancing the experience of our military connected students, military spouses seeking licensure, and veterans re-entering the workforce. Resources mentioned and materials used for the workshop can be found here—a password is required, kindly contact HSPS@nga.org should you require assistance. An overview of our program is provided below.
Virtual Workshop | 16-18 September 2020
Our first virtual workshop highlighted federal and state collaboration on enhancing the experience of our military connected students, military spouses seeking licensure, and veterans re-entering the workforce. State structures to support military family readiness were featured in this workshop, which attracted more than 170 participants from across 38 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Among them were education, housing, workforce, economic development, and military advisors from across the federal interagency, states, non-profit, and private sectors—reflecting the breadth of effort needed to make cross-policy connections for states to develop—and implement—innovative solutions to enhance our defense communities.
NGA Vice Chair, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson kicked-off our virtual workshop series on Wednesday, 16 September, followed by an overview from Blue Star Families on what civilian leaders need to know about the military. Ms. Roth-Douquet’s impactful presentation can be found here, as can her Blue Star Family’s empirical recommendations for empowering governments to support local military families.
A fireside chat between former North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue and Director of Department of Defense Education Activity Tom Brady framed the second day of programming, which was devoted to what Governors need to know—federal and state connections to support military families—and showcased opportunities and challenges facing our military connected students. In concert with Blue Star Family and the Association of Defense Communities and their COVID – 19 support initiative, the Military Child Education Council led a working group these past five months to evaluation major challenges in military child education. Their findings were showcased throughout follow-on panels and are available here.
Why retention matters—how retaining and leveraging defense community talent strengthens regional economies—was the focus of the third day, which was dedicated to ensuring quality employment spouses for transitioning military. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam kicked-off the programming, followed by an armchair conversation with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy and the Director of the Defense – State Liaison Office, highlighted the importance of Military One Source and its forthcoming app to military families.