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ASPIRE Coalition, Which Advocates for Military Spouse Professional License Reciprocity, Reaches Seven Members, Readies for Expansion

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Need for Licensing Portability Further Validated by New Study that Shows 80% of Voters Support the Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Alliance for States Providing Interoperable Reciprocity (ASPIRE) Coalition announced it had expanded to seven members and is launching a new website to make it easier for organizations to join. The Coalition is dedicated to accelerating the adoption of technologies and processes that simplify professional licensing reciprocity and mutual recognition by and between states and territories for military spouses, allowing them to start jobs quickly so they can support their families. 

ASPIRE members include:

  • Association of the United States Army
  • Blue Star Families
  • Merit International Inc.
  • National Military Spouse Network
  • American Prosperity Initiative 
  • Veterans Health and Wellness Foundation
  • Women Veterans Interactive

“Nearly 15% of military spouses cross state lines every single year,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families, “and thousands of them have valuable skills. I’m a military spouse, and I have lived through countless moves. They can be tough on military families, and the last thing these families need is to drop one income simply because transferring licenses is time-consuming and expensive. I am proud we are part of the ASPIRE Coalition because, together, we will provide a real service to military families, to states, and to our nation.”

A new study conducted in May 2023 by Embold Research and Merit showed both public support for reciprocity and a dire need for it. For instance, 80% of Virginia respondents from both parties support allowing military spouses to use their professional and occupational credentials even when earned in other states. The study further shows that:

  • 71% believe military families experience financial instability
  • 71% support using technology to verify and use professional licenses
  • 94% believe their local economy will improve because of license portability

These results validate national findings, where an October 2022 survey by Embold Research and Merit showed 93% of respondents agreed that “It is hard to find a new job when you move frequently; we need to make it easier for military spouses to find new work.” 

The ASPIRE Coalition will push for legislative and tactical fixes. While thirty-four US states have reciprocity legislation in place as of March 2023, no substantive action has been taken to implement improved, digital processes. ASPIRE has identified that states have the ability to create digital systems to advance license portability, partner with other states to implement their legislation, and importantly, fund their legislation. 

About ASPIRE

The ASPIRE coalition, made up of organizations dedicated to supporting military families, advocates for professional licensing reciprocity and mutual recognition for military spouses and veterans. Delays in transferring licenses have huge consequences for military families. By using technology solutions that exist today, we can move existing legislation forward. We can easily solve this problem—working together, combining existing licensing reciprocity and mutual recognition legislation and a digital platform for interoperable, verified credentials and resulting in less lost income, less financial insecurity, and more military families staying together.

Learn more at ASPIRECoalition.org

Media Contact

Press@merits.com

 

* Post originally appeared on BusinessWire here.

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