The construction industry is a demanding sector that requires an array of specialized skills and experience. One group we like to support is military veterans who have transitioned into civilian life. They bring valuable, unique skill sets that significantly enrich this industry. This article aims to explore the ways veterans are impacting the construction industry and provide some resources for veterans interested in joining this rewarding industry.
Honoring Our Veterans
Before we delve deeper, we want to pause and recognize the tremendous sacrifices veterans have made for our country. Military service is a commitment that goes beyond the call of most duties. It requires resilience, dedication, and often involves leaving family behind and risking their own safety to protect the freedoms and values we hold dear.
When we talk about veterans transitioning into civilian roles, we must not merely see them as assets to an industry. We must remember and honor the battles they’ve faced, and the invaluable lessons they’ve learned. By acknowledging and appreciating their service, we can ensure they receive the respect, support, and opportunities they deserve.
Impact of Veterans on the Construction Industry
Leading and Following on the Job
Military veterans are often skilled leaders, having coordinated teams under high-pressure environments. They know how to lead, follow, and respect chain of command. The construction industry requires the same, needing people who are well-rounded team players. Managing a construction crew involves coordinating tasks, ensuring safety protocols are followed, and keeping projects on track and within budget. These skills are inherent in many veterans, adding value to every project and team they become a part of.
Those serving in military roles are typically tasked with learning a technical skill, trade or discipline, as well as learning that of other members in their unit so they can take over if one servicemember is unable to complete their duties. This cross training makes them quick, adaptable, and technically savvy. This provides a direct advantage within the construction industry, where a wide range of technical knowledge and flexibility is necessary.
Discipline and Reliability
The military is a setting that emphasizes discipline, reliability, and professionalism. These are traits that the construction industry holds in high esteem. Veterans are often detail-oriented, punctual, and dependable; qualities that are paramount to a project’s success. Their ability to adhere to stringent protocols ensures projects are completed efficiently and up to the highest standard.
Strict adherence to safety protocols and procedures is a key element of military training. This embedded culture of safety is invaluable in construction, where safety standards must be met to prevent workplace accidents and ensure the welfare of all workers on site. This ingrained safety consciousness enables veterans to contribute significantly to maintaining and improving safety measures on construction sites.
Veterans are typically well versed in solving complex problems under challenging and high-stress conditions; sometimes with extreme consequences. The construction industry is full of unexpected challenges that require quick thinking and adaptable problem-solving skills in dangerous environments. The experience veterans bring in this area can lead to innovative solutions and a more agile approach to overcoming construction obstacles.
Resilience and Adaptability
Veterans are required to perform under a wide variety of conditions and environments when in the field. Their training encourages versatility and efficient planning for mission success. These traits can be highly beneficial in the construction industry, where unpredictable conditions are often the norm rather than the exception. Finding ways to finish projects in their entirety, both on time and on budget, is a mission of its own.
Programs and Resources for Veterans Transitioning into Construction
Recognizing the valuable skills that veterans bring, many organizations and programs have been established to help veterans transition into construction careers post-service. These programs offer training, support, and job placement services for veterans, further amplifying their impact on the industry. We have included a few examples here:
A national, nonprofit program that connects National Guard, Reserve, retired, and transitioning active-duty military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry.
The National Center for Construction Education and Research’s Hard Hat Heroes initiative offers veterans a way to receive credit for skills and training they received while in the service, and helps match them with job opportunities in construction.
This nonprofit organization helps veterans with job placement in the construction, energy, and manufacturing industries. They offer mentorship, resume assistance, and interview coaching.
This program provides training and job placement for veterans interested in the wireless infrastructure industry, a niche sector of construction.
This is a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities.
Military veterans bring a diverse and valuable set of skills to the construction industry. Their leadership, technical skills, discipline, and adaptability are assets that enrich the industry and can lead to a mutually beneficial partnership. With a wealth of resources available, veterans interested in this field have numerous opportunities to utilize their skills and contribute to the growth and safety of the construction industry while participating in a rewarding and well-paying career. Veterans in construction is not just about filling roles; it’s about leveraging unique skill sets to create an industry that is efficient, safe, and continually evolving.
Lastly, and importantly: Thank You to our veterans for your service. We are forever grateful.