Current Events

Title:Construction Industry Makes Veteran Hiring Pledge

Date:February 2014

Source:U.S. Department of Labor

Volume:Volume 3 Issue 91

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 percent.

And, for the first time an entire industry is making a pledge to hire veterans. More than 100 American construction companies came together to announce the plan. Previous veteran hiring pledges came from individual companies or a coalition of companies, like the 100,000 Jobs Mission.

"All men and women who have sacrificed for our country in our armed services deserve opportunities for good jobs worthy of their character and their achievements," said U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez. "The Department of Labor will do whatever it takes to help our veterans translate their skills and leadership into jobs, and I am inspired by the commitment displayed today by the construction industry and all our partners in helping to achieve that mission."

Last month, the construction industry had its strongest single month of job growth in the past four years, adding 48,000 jobs.

Nearly 180,000 construction jobs were created in the past year, Perez said, and about 1.5 million such jobs are forecast to be added through 2022.

Average wages are about $20 an hour, not including benefits, he said.

Construction companies large and small — from national firms like Jacobs and Bechtel, to regional firms like Cianbro Construction, to local contractors and subcontractors across America — are stepping up to ensure their industry welcomes home the nation's heroes with good-paying jobs. More than 80 additional companies are committing their existing training and employment programs to fill new construction jobs with veterans.

"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," Larry Melton, project executive for Bechtel and Marine Corps veteran said. "Bechtel is passionate about supporting veterans and we continue to expand our efforts to hire transitioning military members."

Lori Sundberg, senior vice president of human resources at Jacobs also stated: "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. We are proud of the veterans working at Jacobs and appreciate their military service, their dedication, and the value they add to our company."

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