Military Veterans in Construction

Blog 65 VeteransBy Brian Binke

As commercial construction recruiting firms continue to look for new ways to solve the labor shortage impacting the industry, a growing number of search consultants are reaching out to military veterans to fill vacant construction jobs. Not only are military veterans taking the oath of enlistment to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, many of them are also signing up to help rebuild the infrastructure of America.

In addition to epitomizing teamwork, veterans also have the confidence, discipline and problem-solving skills that will help to get any job done. However, recruiting military veterans for construction careers is often easier said than done. It typically takes marketing skills and strategy that only executive search firms specialize in.

  • Military Periodicals - If you want your job announcements to be seen by veterans, then it’s recommended to publish them in a variety of popular military journals or to work with recruiters who have a strong network among veterans.
  • Benefits - In order to attract veterans, you’ll need to be transparent regarding education and training opportunities, a healthy work/life balance and a modern corporate benefit package with health care premiums, 401K plans and profit sharing.
  • Camaraderie – Those organizations that promote loyalty and a culture similar to that of the military are often able to hire and retain more veterans vs. those rich in office politics, hidden agendas, etc.

Hiring Vets Can Help Solve the Labor Crisis

Since thousands of military veterans exit the service every year and the construction industry needs an excessive number of new professionals per year to replace an aging and retiring work force, many commercial construction recruiters are calling on those former military professionals to fill the void. Veterans often possess direct experience in many of the following areas: carpenter, electrician, project manager, foreman, ironworker, architect, heavy equipment operator, construction lawyer, civil engineer, business development and public relations, safety and health specialist, plumber and construction accountant.

There are a variety of programs available that are designed to help military service members successfully transition back into civilian life by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the construction industry.

  • Helmets to Hardhats: This organization connects National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. Most career opportunities offered by the program are connected to federally-approved apprenticeship training programs. Such training is provided by the trade organizations themselves at no cost to the veteran. 
  • Veterans Build America: Created by veterans for promoting the skills and employability of transitioning military veterans in the construction industry. The program also provides a variety of resources to both job seekers and employers regarding the benefits to hiring veterans and why veterans should consider construction careers. 

Veterans can make a solid addition to any team; they have the commitment and perseverance to follow through with projects and support their colleagues. Commercial construction recruiting firms continue to find new ways to solve the skilled labor crisis, more and more of them are turning to military veterans as one solution.

Brian Binke is the founder and CEO of The Birmingham Group (TBG). TBG is a globally recognized executive search and consulting firm specializing in the construction arena. Over the past 22 years, Brian has established himself as one of the construction industries most respected leaders. He has won numerous awards for his industry innovation and has been recognized as the No. 1 worldwide revenue producing manager for the largest recruitment network of more than 800 independent firms. 

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