Our troops work hard to fight for our freedom, but many end up unemployed upon their return. The Washington Post reported last year that the unemployment rate for veterans who have served since 9/11 is at 10 percent, with 246,000 out of work.
Recently, Contractor Magazine’s Candace Roulo wrote a story covering the Troops To Trades program, which helps U.S. veterans obtain the necessary skills to work in the plumbing, electrical and HVAC industries, among others.
Keith Mercurio, training manager for Nexstar Network, had the idea for the Troops To Trades program two years ago and it was adopted as one of Nextar’s programs. At a recent auction to raise money, Mercurio said Troops To Trades veteran Scott Heberling shared his story with the audience and “really moved the crowd.”
Many veterans can relate with Heberling’s story. He is an Air Force veteran, and when he came out of the military and moved back home to look after ailing parents he assumed he would be able to find a job. Heberling started to look for a job in different industries, and employers kept telling him that he wasn’t current and didn’t have the experience to be hired even though he had great military skills. As time went on it became really difficult to find a job, and he refused to take help or go on unemployment.
Heberling spoke about when he was having a tough time making ends meet, and how Troops To Trades helped him get the job he has now. Heberling decided to look into the Troops To Trades program, and attend Build-A-Tech, which is in partnership with Lennox. He was then employed by Nexstar member Plumbline Services, based in Denver, Colorado.
Read more about Troops To Trades on Contractors website or at the Troops To Trades website.