Programs assist military spouses in the business world

Military spouses looking for work or trying to launch a business are getting some much-needed help from a variety of programs.

Sydney Hale is looking for work in the medical field. She just moved to Tampa from Alabama with her husband, who is in the Marines.

She says she sought career help because she's, "Coming into a new area and not knowing anything, not knowing anybody."

Hale is working with a program through MacDill Air Force Base and Career Source Tampa Bay that connects military spouses with job opportunities.

"Military spouses are sometimes unemployed or underemployed. It helps employers to realize with the military spouse they're getting someone that's resilient and hardworking, someone that knows how to set priorities and definitely someone who knows about service," said Shalanda Ross, a military family employment advocate. 

The program helps with resume assistance and interviewing skills and coordinates the job search with the jobseeker. 

Military wife and veteran Stacy Moser is working with a program called Action Zone to grow her dog treat business called 8 Paws Approved. 

"Give the foundation of- does this make sense? Will this work? And really some business sense behind understanding who your customers are," shared Moser.

Military mom and wife Desiree Panlilio is also an entrepreneur. She offers online counseling for teens and parents. 

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"My business is Encouraging Teens and it really started because of my daughters. We were a military family and as all military families do we move around a lot. What I focused on was helping them make great decisions, make sure they could articulate their values, who they are, what they wanted to do," said Panlilio.

The Bunker Labs Entrepreneurship Program, which helps start-ups by veterans and military spouses, is making sure she's taking the right steps.

"We kind of walk through each business and we try to help them grow in some capacity," said Aaron Caldwell with Bunker Labs.

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"I didn't know about creating these business plans, creating these one-year goals," said Panlilio. "How do you go after these goals?"

It's community support that's putting these military spouses on a path to success.

"Something like this can be taken pretty much anywhere you want to go. You know this is something that once launched online they can pretty much do it wherever they are", said Moser.

"We kind of oftentimes forget about the spouse and what they have to go through as a spouse of a military member. They are valuable components of the military community at large so to offer them the opportunity to grow and share their ideas is very important", said Caldwell.

"There are all these people that want you to succeed, they give you the layout, they tell you the next step, they encourage," Panlilio stated.

Click here for more information about the CareerSource Tampa Bay Military Family Employment Advocacy Program

 For more information about Action Zone, visit

For more information about Bunker Labs, visit