SMACNA Co-Sponsors Efforts To Recruit Military Personnel

“Military veterans need the high quality jobs with consistent benefits that the construction industry offers,” commented retired Major General Matthew Caulfield to attendees at the 2002 Construction Alliance National Issues Conference. Caulfield then introduced a new labor-management initiative, The Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment and Veterans Employment. First introduced at the Building Construction Trades Department/AFL-CIO legislative conference and sponsored by eight contractor associations, including SMACNA, the center’s goal will be to recruit 700,000 workers for the construction industry from discharged military personnel. SMACNA has appointed two trustees to the Taft-Hartley fund that will oversee the project. Slated to open in 2003, the center will be staffed by professionals who will interview military personnel to decipher the military occupation specialty (MOS) for an equivalent in the private construction sector. The staff at the center will perform a skills assessment and recommend the most suitable building trade. With that information, a referral will be made to the appropriate local union. Congressional support for the program is strong. It’s reported that Rep. John Murtha (D-PA), a member of the House appropriations Committee and a retired Marine Corps colonel, will seek $5 million in the fiscal 2003 budget to fund the program. According to Rep. Jack Quinn (R-NY), “People who serve in the military are a unique national resource because they are they are team players, skilled, disciplined and often bring to the private sector skills that are transferable from military to civilian life.”

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