The Washington Post

Construction industry pledges to hire 100,000 veterans


Jill Biden greets guests following a Joining Forces event at the University of Pennsylvania in April 11, 2012. (White House photo).

First lady Michelle Obama and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez on Monday will announce a pledge from construction companies to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years as part of an initiative seeking to encourage non-government support for former troops.

The agreement, involving more than 100 companies, comes as the construction industry is poised to gain 1.6 million jobs by 2022, giving it the 11th highest anticipated rate of growth at 2.6 percent annually, over that period, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics projections.

First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Jill Biden. (White House photo). First lady Michelle Obama and second lady Jill Biden. (White House photo)

The agreement is part of the White House’s Joining Forces initiative, which seeks to highlight the needs of veterans and inspire support for them from all sectors of society. Obama and second lady Jill Biden are leading the effort.

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Monday, Obama said the construction companies “made this commitment not just because 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.”

Industry leaders talked up the benefits of hiring former service members in an announcement of the pledge on Monday.

“Veterans are invaluable to the construction industry,” said Larry L. Melton, an executive with Bechtel Corporation, one of the firms involved in the pledge. “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.”

Following up on the announcement, the Labor Department plans to hold three roundtable discussions Monday focusing on how employers can tap into the veterans’ community and how former troops can get involved in apprenticeships, as well as credentialing and certification programs.

“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,” Perez said in the statement. “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.”

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks@washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics for more federal news. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
New Hampshire has voted. The Democrats debate on Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
What happened in New Hampshire
The Post's Philip Rucker and Robert Costa say...
For Trump, the victory here was sweet vindication, showing that his atypical campaign could prevail largely on the power of celebrity and saturation media coverage. But there was also potential for concern in Tuesday's outcome. Trump faces doubts about his discipline as a candidate and whether he can build his support beyond the levels he has shown in the polls.
The Post's John Wagner and Anne Gearan say...
Hillary Clinton, who was declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses last week by the narrowest of margins, now finds herself struggling to right her once-formidable campaign against a self-described democratic socialist whom she has accused of selling pipe dreams to his supporters.
Quoted
People have every right to be angry. But they're also hungry for solutions.
Hillary Clinton, in her New Hampshire primary night speech
Quoted
I am going to be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.
Donald Trump, in his New Hampshire primary victory speech
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
See results from N.H.

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.