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Posted by Tasha Weiss on February 13, 2014 at 10:53 AM.
In an announcement on Monday at A National Symposium: Veterans’ Employment in Construction, hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor and Joining Forces, First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez celebrated a broad coalition of construction employers and associations that have collectively pledged to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years.
Also at the event were representatives of the construction companies making these hiring commitments, veterans who have completed apprenticeships in the construction industry and other leaders in the field.
The construction industry is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, outpacing the steady growth of the economy as a whole and helping to strengthen local communities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that construction is one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation, with job growth of more than 1.5 million jobs between now and 2022 – an annual growth rate of 2.6%.
More than 80 companies across the country, large and small, are committing their existing training and employment programs to fill new construction jobs with veterans, and executives from several participating companies were present at the event. One of them, Larry L. Melton, a project executive for Bechtel and Marine Corps veteran, said, “Veterans are invaluable to the construction industry. Men and women who serve in the military often have the traits that are so critical to our success: agility, discipline, integrity, and the drive to get the job done right,” said Melton.
Lori Sundberg, senior vice president of human resources at Jacobs, said, “We are pleased to support programs that provide career opportunities for our military veterans. Many of the skills and abilities gained during military training and service are highly transferable to the skills we require to successfully serve our clients around the world.”
Following the announcement, the department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service and Employment and Training Administration hosted the Symposium’s three roundtable discussions, which included information on how to access veterans’ employment services that are available at more than 2,600 American Jobs Centers across the country.
Remarks from the event were live-streamed for the public and you can watch the video recording at the U.S. Department of Labor’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/user/USDepartmentofLabor).