How can contractors support veterans who want to work in the construction industry?

November 11, 2021

During a time when contractors are facing a labor shortage, it is key to recognize people with military training and experience can be an asset to the construction industry, according to

Contractors often seek employees who are hardworking, safety-oriented and able to perform effectively under stressful conditions. Veterans value teamwork, understand how to demonstrate and respond to leadership, and have the ability to overcome adversity. Construction can be a strong match for men and women transitioning from military to civilian life and looking for jobs that offer good wages and competitive benefits.

“Veterans provide an excellent talent base for construction companies because they have a foundation of skills that are strong assets at the worksite,” said Kelly French, veterans—talent acquisition program specialist for United Rentals. “Many people with military experience have traits and qualities contractors look for in new hires: loyalty, integrity, dedication, service excellence and a focus on safety. It’s a smart move for companies to build on what veterans have learned in the military to address hiring needs with skilled, motivated people.”

Following are three steps contractors can take to support veterans looking to enter the construction industry.

  1. Contractors can add a tool such as a military skills translator to their websites. These online tools allow service members and veterans to input their military occupation code and receive an instant list of open positions that match their various skills and attributes.
  2. Construction companies can participate in job fairs that target military personnel and veterans. Recruiters also can engage with employment outreach programs such as Work for Warriors, Hiring our Heroes, and Helmets to Hardhats, as well as programs offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  3. Contractors can provide work-study programs to help veterans smoothly and efficiently transition into civilian positions. These programs deliver job-readiness instruction, including a mix of intensive technical training and corporate skills training.

Tags: Workforce


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