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First lady boosts on-base jobs for service spouses
Michelle Obama unveils push to get 15,000 military spouses jobs on or near base
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' Opening another front in her nearly year-old campaign to support service families, first lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday unveiled a new push for jobs on or near military bases.

She also announced plans to mark the Joining Forces campaign's first anniversary with a two-day, four-state swing next week that will include stops in election battleground states Pennsylvania and Florida and a chat with comedian Stephen Colbert on his show "The Colbert Report."

The Joining Forces organization said it has lined up commitments for more than 15,000 jobs in the coming years. Most will come from telemarketing and customer support companies and will enable the spouses and veterans to work from home.



Mrs. Obama noted these jobs are especially helpful to military families because they move so often across state lines -- about 10 times more often than the typical U.S. family.

"We're trying to meet these spouses where they are," she said in a conference call with reporters. "This will make such a huge difference ... When the next set of orders comes in for these families, and they have to move across the country, they'll be able to move these jobs with them."

Ahead of the Joining Forces anniversary, the first lady was visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to distribute Easter treats from the White House pastry shop to military families staying there.

Next week, after a White House celebration, she and Jill Biden, the vice president's wife and her partner in Joining Forces, will make stops at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to meet with nursing industry leaders; New York for Mrs. Obama's Colbert taping; Shreveport, La., to mark the 50,000th veteran or service spouse hired under the campaign; and the Naval Air Station at Jacksonville, Fla.

So far, Mrs. Obama told reporters, the jobs component of Joining Forces has exceeded expectations. "The country is stepping up in ways both large and small," she said.


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