Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Construction Industry Pledges to Hire 100,000 Veterans

On Monday, February 10, First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez announced at the National Symposium: Veterans’ Employment in Construction that a coalition of construction employers and associations have collectively pledged to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years.

In an op-ed that ran on February 10 in the Wall Street Journal, the First Lady wrote: "Today, more than 100 American construction companies came together to announce that they plan to hire more than 100,000 veterans within the next five years. They 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."

According to the Department of Labor’s VETS News Release, the construction industry is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years and is one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation. Orion has found this to be true, as well, as Construction is among the top 10 industries in which Orion found new careers for veterans in the last quarter. The industry is also represented in CareerCast’s list of the 10 Best Jobs for Veterans by Construction Program Manager.

Chris Canfield
Chris Canfield, a former Intelligence Officer in the Marine Corps, is among the many Orion alumni making a name for themselves in Construction. He began his career with RQ Construction in 2008 as a Project Engineer working on a project for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) at Camp Pendleton. At the end of 2009, he was promoted to Assistant Project Manager. He credits this rapid promotion to his leadership, management, and communication experience gained in the military. “During that time, I also helped write various parts of our company’s proposals, mainly because I was able to understand what the lingo was and how it applied to our projects,” recalls Canfield.

When the MARSOC ended in the summer of 2010, Canfield was again promoted to Project Manager and asked to take over another project. Canfield explains, “To be promoted in three years to a position like Project Manager and run two concurrent projects showed how much trust and confidence RQ had in my abilities. I attribute it to the competencies and values I learned while I was serving.”

This latest announcement from The White House is another sign that businesses, big or small, across all industries are recognizing the benefits of hiring veterans, both to the bottom line and to our Nation. Want to learn more about how you can add veterans like Canfield to your team? Click here.

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