A majority of surveyed construction contractors have reported that the lack of qualified workers is the number one problem impeding growth. However, industry leaders in need of motivated and capable workers should look no further than the growing number of veterans who are interested in finding a new career after leaving the military. These service members represent a key pipeline of professional workers for a wide variety of construction vocations and trades.
In order to encourage business owners and construction contractors to hire veterans, the U.S. Department of Labor recently established the HIRE Vets Medallion Program as part of the Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans Act, or HIRE Vets Act, which was signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on May 5, 2017. The new program recognizes employer efforts to recruit, employ, and retain veterans. The program, which is scheduled to launch in 2019, will recognize employers meeting criteria established in the rule through the award of a “HIRE Vets Medallion” which may be displayed on employer websites, social media and other public spaces. As described in the Act, there are different awards for large employers (500-plus employees), medium employers (51-499 employees), and small employers (50 or fewer employees). Additionally, there are two award tiers and levels of recognition: Gold and Platinum.
Construction contractors who wish to participate in the program will be able to apply through the U.S. Department of Labor website, which also provides a hiring tool kit to assist in efforts to proactively recruit and integrate veterans into the workforce.
Despite growing concerns about a shortage of labor and its impact on the construction industry, contractors who actively recruit and employ veterans not only have a chance to combat the labor shortage, but to signal their commitment to veterans hoping to launch a post-service career.
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About the Author:
Craig H. Handler is an experienced attorney dedicating much of his practice to working with construction industry professionals and property owners in contract drafting and negotiation and in disputes related to defective construction, delay, scope of work, mechanic’s lien foreclosure and defense, OSHA violations, ECB violations, and Labor Law claims. Mr. Handler is also a Judge Advocate assigned to the 7th Legal Assistance Detachment, 88th Brigade, New York Army Guard. Mr. Handler presently holds the rank of Captain, and is honored to assist soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines with their legal needs.