MADISON (SPECTRUM NEWS) — It was a meeting of the minds in Madison, Thursday.  Various Veteran’s organizations along with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development came together to talk about supporting military wives, in ways never done before.  

It’s because the unemployment rate for this population is four times the national average, and military wives desperately want to work.

‘We had been here almost seven months and I hadn’t gotten a job offer,’ Toni Skyles-Williams said about her journey to find a career in Wisconsin.  The Louisiana native has moved all over the country and world with her husband’s deployments, but when she moved to Madison, she couldn’t even get a job at McDonalds. 

‘I will flip burgers…I will run the register…I just need a paycheck,’ she said about the tough time.  

The military mother of two’s weak resume wasn’t even enough.

‘You feel helpless alone and you feel you have let yourself and your family, your spouse down, you feel like a failure,’ she said.

What’s really failing in Wisconsin is the 15% unemployment rate for military wives.

‘That’s not good and we need to get them into the workplace of Wisconsin.’

Governor Tony Evers says it’s why multiple agencies will spend the next few months on outreach, military wives job training and outlining new state budgetary proposals.  

‘We have people working together, thinking about solutions and doing the right thing for Wisconsin,’ Governor Evers said.

Because if given a chance, Skyles-Williams knows she can do it all. 

‘We are chauffeurs, project managers, doctors, counselors…that we just don’t necessarily see the paycheck from.’ Skyles-Williams said.

As for a paycheck,  Skyles-Williams has now found her perfect job, helping families facing deployment feel secure here at home

‘So for me to be able to reach out to another family just like mine is the greatest gift that I can give.’