Three Ways Contractors Can Help Veterans Looking To Work In The Construction Industry

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Veterans are a solid talent base for construction companies because they have a skill base that is a great asset on the job site.

Shutterstock via United Rentals

Individuals with military training and experience can be a valuable asset to the construction industry. This is especially true at a time when many entrepreneurs are struggling to fill vacancies.

Construction contractors looking to hire new employees often look for candidates who are hard-working, safety-conscious, and able to work effectively under stressful conditions. Construction can be an asset for men and women transitioning from military to civilian life looking to join an industry that offers good wages and competitive advantages.

Veterans typically have a basic skill set that construction companies appreciate. These include:

  • mechanics of wheeled / tracked vehicles,
  • ground support equipment technicians,
  • and repairers and maintainers.

The veterans have shown themselves capable of weathering adversity on the court and in construction. They value teamwork, which is essential for safe and productive work sites, and know how to demonstrate and respond to leadership.

Veterans possess basic skills which may include wheeled / tracked vehicle mechanics, ground support equipment technicians, repairers and maintenance workers.Veterans possess basic skills which may include wheeled / tracked vehicle mechanics, ground support equipment technicians, repairers and maintenance workers.United Rentals“Veterans are a great talent base for construction companies because they have a skill base that is a great asset on the job site,” said Kelly French, Veterans – Talent Acquisition Program Specialist, United Rentals. “Many people with military experience have traits and qualities that entrepreneurs look for in new hires: loyalty, integrity, dedication, service excellence and a focus on safety. It’s a smart move for companies to build on what veterans learned in the military to meet the hiring needs with qualified and motivated people.

Here are three steps contractors can take to support military and veterans who want to join the construction industry.

Translator of military skills

While some military skills are easily transferable to construction, others like infantry or combat experience can be more difficult to harness. Entrepreneurs can help by adding a tool like a military skills translator to their websites. These online tools allow military members and veterans to enter their Military Occupation Code (MOC) and receive an instant list of open positions that match their various skills and attributes.

Companies can customize a military translator for professional military specialties across all industries, and identify the ones that would be suitable and the roles in which they would likely be translated. The tools can dramatically change the job search experience for military members and veterans, helping them find job matches that may not be immediately obvious.

Job fairs

Construction companies can participate in career fairs that target military personnel and veterans. Recruiters can also participate in employment awareness programs such as Work for Warriors and Hiring our Heroes, as well as programs offered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Work study

Contractors can offer work-study programs that help veterans make the transition to civilian positions.Contractors can offer work-study programs that help veterans make the transition to civilian positions.Contractors can offer work-study programs that help veterans make the transition to civilian positions. These programs provide pre-employment education comprising a mixture of intensive technical training and in-company vocational training. They give Veterans a solid foundation for workplace expectations and allow them to integrate into new roles faster and more effectively than traditional pathways to employment.

For example, United Rentals has partnered with Workforce Opportunity Services to develop the Service to Employment (STEP) program. The program offers 10 weeks of classroom and hands-on training, during which veterans learn technical and social skills, meet business leaders, and find out what it’s like to work at a United Rentals branch. This is part of the reason why a significant portion of the United Rentals workforce comes from a military background.

United Rentals offers many roles that match the skills Veterans have learned through their service. To learn more about career opportunities for veterans and serving members, visit the United Rentals Careers Military Webpage.


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