As we reflect on Veterans Day this week, most of us think about the countless blessings we have because of the sacrifice and service of our country’s brave men and women. There is no doubt that this holiday gives deserving recognition to those who have so gallantly served. However, we can do more than simply recognize our veterans. We must remember the words of John F. Kennedy, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
Earlier this year, the construction industry committed to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years. In order to accomplish this, Build Your Future (BYF) partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense to use an effective recruitment tool known as SkillBridge, an online, Twitter-based portal specifically for transitioning service members.
During the last 180 days of service, military personnel undergo a transition phase. Transitioning into civilian life is a daunting challenge for many service members, and two out three veterans report having a difficult time during this process. In addition, veterans listed the greatest challenge during the phase was finding a civilian job.
The Department of Defense allows transitioning service members to seek civilian training and education while still receiving full, active-duty benefits. SkillBridge seeks to connect transitioning service members with training and career opportunities, with the goal being that the training can occur during their last 180 days of military service.
Here’s what this opportunity brings to our industry:
- Access to military personnel seeking career opportunities: With a unique set of skills, experiences and leadership abilities, these men and women are the kind of people we need to succeed.
- A perfect training timeline: Training can occur during this transition period, so that once separated, veterans can immediately begin working.
- Workforce recruitment solutions: BYF provides access to SkillBridge by having employers sign a military commitment letter. Once signed, training and career opportunities can be posted on the Department of Defense’s online portal. In addition, signing the letter grants access to Hardhat Heroes, BYF’s military initiative that offers a host of military recruitment resources. For example, BYF’s Military Crosswalk translates how Military Occupational Codes compare to industry-related opportunities. Employers will also have access to best practice guides, advertising opportunities and the Hardhat Heroes database.
Let’s do more than recognize our veterans; let’s provide them with rewarding career opportunities in construction. For more information on hiring veterans, please email email@example.com.