Veteran unemployment may be waning, but it is still a concern for troops returning from active duty and transitioning into civilian life. Although the transition isn't always easy, veterans who target industries experiencing shortages of skilled workers stand a much better chance of landing a job. Among them is the construction industry, and a recent announcement from first lady Michelle Obama should give hope to anyone veteran looking for work.
According to the Washington Post, over 100 construction companies have pledged to collectively hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years. The initiative is to encourage private, non-government support for hiring veterans. The agreement stems from Michelle Obama and Jill Biden leading the Joining Forces Initiative, an organization that seeks to raise awareness about issues that veterans face.
The impetus for this initiative is, according to Michelle Obama, one of pure patriotism. The first lady said in a Wall Street Journal piece that "it's the patriotic thing to do, and not just because they want to repay our veterans for their service to our country, but because they know that it's the smart thing to do for their business."
To assist construction companies in hiring veterans, a roundtable discussion will take place hosted by the Labor Department. Planned topics of discussion include how former troops can apply to apprenticeships, credentialing programs, and certification programs. According to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez: "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. 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."