NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Hampton Roads' largest private employer is doing its part to help the men and women who've sacrificed to defend American freedom.
Newport News Shipbuilding's parent company Huntington Ingalls Industries has joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's "Hiring 100,000 Military Spouses" campaign.
The objective is to raise awareness of military spouse unemployment, which has rates four times the national average.
H.I. plans to hire 50 service member spouses over the next three years.
Additionally, 23 percent, or around 1,000, of the approximately 6,700 new hires at Newport News last year, were military veterans.
"Newport News and Huntington Ingalls offer two things that are a really good fit for the military community: stability and a career where there's a lot of opportunity for growth," said Sultan Camp, the shipyard's military liaison.
The change sounds good to Navy retiree spouse Olga Reinert, who, until recently, couldn't catch a break.
"We had to move from place to place so often, nobody wanted to hire me because they expected I'm going to move soon," she said. "I sent maybe hundreds of resumes and I never got any response."
That is until she got hired a year ago in the shipyard's Procurement Department. Now, she loves her job.
Huntington Ingalls already employs more than 6,600 former members of the Armed Forces, as well as current members of the National Guard and Reserve.