Giffords titled national advocate for military spouse employment - Tucson News Now

Giffords titled national advocate for military spouse employment program

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will serve as the honorary chairwoman of the Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Employment Advisory Council.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes program made the announcement at the 3rd Annual Lee Anderson hiring Our Heroes Awards Dinner at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"While members of the military put on the uniform-they are not the only ones who serve," said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. "I'm proud to join hands with military spouses to help them put their unique skills to work in their communities."

In her role as honorary chairwoman, Giffords will serve as a national advocate for the Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse program to help raise awareness to the unique challenges military spouses face when searching for meaningful employment.

"We are honored to have Congresswoman Giffords as an ambassador for our program," said Eric Eversole, executive director of Hiring Our Heroes. "As a military spouse, she understands the challenges faced by military spouses and will inspire them as they search for meaningful employment opportunities."

Hiring Our Heroes established a standalone program for military spouses in 2012 and hosts 20 job fairs on military installations each year exclusively for spouses. Since its inception, the Military Spouse Program has also established the first-of-its-kind Military Spouse Employment Advisory Council made up of nearly a dozen companies committed to hiring and retaining military spouses; LinkedIn Networks to help spouses network and identify employment opportunities; an eMentor program that connects protégé spouses with spouse-friendly employers; and networking receptions in conjunction with fairs for spouses to interact with business leaders and other spouses.

"Congresswoman Giffords is shining example for military spouses across the globe and we could not be more excited to stand alongside her in our shared goal to empower spouses and help them build their careers," said Laura Dempsey, director of the Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Program. "Her unwavering drive and positive attitude in the face of adversity exemplifies the qualities that make military spouses ideal candidates for employers."

In 2011, Giffords was named the Honorary Military Spouse of the Year by Military Spouse Magazine for her courage and bravery in the wake of a shooting earlier that year that nearly took her life. She represented Arizona's 8th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007-2012. Her husband, Mark Kelly, is retired Navy captain and NASA astronaut. 

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