Standards for Military Family Readiness programs

2020 Edition

Military Lifestyle Support and Education (MIL-MLSE) 7: Employment Assistance

The MFR program works with customers to identify and achieve their education and career goals.

NA Access to employment assistance is available only through referral to providers outside the MFR program.
2020 Edition




Customers acquire the tools and resources needed to effectively navigate the military lifestyle, improve individual and family functioning, and promote positive adjustment and military family readiness. 
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the programs’ practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions; exceptions do not impact service quality and/or overall performance.
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance 
A rating of (2) indicates that a programs’ infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement. The majority of the standard's requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented.  Minor inconsistencies and practices that are not fully developed are noted, however, these do not significantly impact service quality and/or overall performance.
Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that significant aspects of the programs’ observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement. The program has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework. Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised. Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation and Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all. Observed infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.

Please see Rating Guidance for additional rating examples. 
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Assessment tool and/or criteria included in assessment (MIL-MLSE 7.01)
  • Description of outreach and educational activities with civilian employers (MIL-MLSE 7.04)
  • Interview:
    1. MFR Program director (MIL-MLSE 7.04)
    2. Relevant staff
    3. Customers


The MFR program works with the customer to complete a comprehensive assessment to assist them in identifying:

  1. previous formal and informal work experience;
  2. relevant life experiences;
  3. interests, aptitudes, and strengths;
  4. education and career goals;
  5. training and education needed to meet goals;
  6. required accommodations, if applicable; and
  7. barriers to employment.


The MFR program works with the customer to develop an assessment-based education and career plan that is individualized, flexible, and goal-oriented. 


Examples of considerations that contribute to the development of individualized education and career plans include geographic location; local labor market conditions; child care needs; transportation issues; language of choice; and the person's religious, racial, ethnic, and cultural background. 


The MFR program provides the customer with relevant labor market information, including current job listings with salary levels and opportunities for advancement, to assist them in exploring career opportunities that will meet their financial needs.


The MFR program informs the civilian community of the benefits of hiring separating service members and military family members and promotes awareness among employers of their unique challenges and needs.


When primary responsibility for educating the surrounding community belongs to another entity, it is up to the MFR program to collaborate with that agency as needed to promote awareness among civilian employers.

Military spouses face unique employment challenges and stressors due to frequent relocation and deployment.  Employer hesitation to invest in his or her training, insufficient time for advancement within the program or his or her profession, and inconsistent state credentialing and licensure requirements can limit an individual’s ability to find satisfactory employment in their new location.


The MFR program provides access to the following employment support resources and services, either directly or by referral as appropriate to the needs of the customer: 

  1. job matching services;
  2. transportation services;
  3. self-employment resources;
  4. child care; and
  5. employment services for adults with disabilities. 


The MFR program provides information on the following educational programs, as appropriate to the needs of the customer:

  1. degree or certificate programs, both in-person and virtual;
  2. steps towards licensure;
  3. skilled trade or apprenticeship classes;
  4. English as a Second Language (ESL) courses; and
  5. General Educational Development (GED) or high school courses.


The MFR program provides job readiness training on the following, as appropriate to the needs of the customer:

  1. workplace practices, including appropriate dress;
  2. workforce diversity;
  3. accepting supervision;
  4. salary negotiations;
  5. anger management and conflict resolution;
  6. working effectively with others;
  7. stress and time management;
  8. computer literacy;
  9. entrepreneurship and related topics; and
  10. available services and accommodations for individuals with disabilities. 

Research points to job readiness training, sometimes known as the accumulation of “soft-skills,” as the most important factor for short-term job retention among workers with limited work experience.


The MFR program supports the customer's search for employment by helping him or her develop a job search strategy and improve job search skills including:

  1. resume writing and how to complete an application;
  2. interview and negotiation techniques;
  3. how to locate and successfully use job, employer, and market research;
  4. marketing oneself;
  5. networking; and
  6. accessing online resources.