There are 1.3 million active duty members of the military and every year approximately 200,000 men and women leave US military service to return to life as civilians. As civilians, veterans may be most successful with jobs that utilize or align with the skills they’ve learned in the military; construction careers for military veterans are a perfect fit. Construction careers can take advantage of the technical skills that veterans have, especially in positions like the skilled trades and supervisors. And, with the current pressing need for construction companies to find more workers, hiring more veterans benefits both parties.

Why Veterans Make Great Construction Employees 

As members of the military, veterans learn transferable skills that benefit the construction industry, which is why construction careers for military veterans make perfect sense. According to the National Center for Construction Education and Research, these skills include: 

  • Leadership Skills – The military’s hierarchical system helps train leaders within each rank and teaches how to communicate with and inspire people. 
  • Team Players – Military units are all about working together to achieve a common goal. Veterans are also used to working in diverse groups. 
  • Quickly Adapt – The military is unpredictable, giving veterans the ability to quickly adapt to changing situations. Veterans are flexible and can pick up new information quickly on the jobsite. 
  • Self-Motivated – Highly disciplined, veterans hold themselves accountable and require less supervision, making them ideal for a field-based workforce. 
  • Reliability – Veterans understand commitment and how their actions affect others so they’re more likely to be relied upon at work. 
  • Good Organization Skills – Veterans are used to thinking strategically, making them good project managers on construction sites. 
  • Task-Orientated Mindset – Veterans learn to prepare for assignments, no matter the obstacles. Veterans are able to adapt to the harsh conditions of a construction site, as well as other unforeseen circumstances. 
  • Heavy Machinery Operation – Many veterans have experience operating heavy machinery like bulldozers and cranes. 
  • Ability to Meet Deadlines – Veterans are used to completing tasks while dealing with time constraints and stressful conditions. 

Programs That Help Construction Companies Hire Veterans 

Leaders in the construction industry recognize that the industry can benefit from hiring more veterans. Several programs are successfully promoting construction careers for military veterans. 

  • Employment Navigator and Partnership Pilot (ENPP) – The US Department of Labor’s program provides personalized employment assistance to transitioning service members and their spouses at select military installations worldwide. ENPP provides one-on-one career assistance to service members by partnering with organizations that can provide training, like construction companies.  
  • Hiring Our Heroes – The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is a partner in the US Chamber of Commerce’s Hiring Our Heroes program. The program is part of the construction industry’s effort to add 100,000 veterans over the next five years. The partnership will make it easier for construction contractors to find, recruit and hire veterans. Approved employers can attend Hiring Your Heroes Hiring Fairs. 
  • Build Your Future Credentialing Portal Build Your Future’s program provides service members with NCCER credentials for the training they already received in the military and provides contractors with an outline of each MOS code, the equivalent NCCER training and a description? of the training the veterans still need as they enter the industry. Build Your Future helps companies make connections with veterans looking for construction careers. 
  • Helmets to Hardhats Helmets to Hardhats connects veterans with careers and helps construction companies recruit more veterans. There are several tax benefits for companies that hire veterans. Check with your company’s tax professional to see if the veterans you hire through H2H qualify your organization for these benefits. 
  • Veteran-Specific Job Boards – An applicant tracking system (ATS) can post job openings to veteran-specific job boards, giving construction companies the ability to directly target veterans. It’s also important to note that veterans have a protected status under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) and federal contractors must adhere to fair hiring practices.  

Hiring more veterans makes good business sense for construction companies. Veterans come with a myriad of skills and can help fill the gap left by retiring Baby Boomers. Consider widening your recruiting scope to target more veterans. 

Arcoro and ExakTime are committed to helping construction companies meet their changing needs, whether they are recruitment and retention or simply managing their workforces more efficiently like with digital time tracking. 

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