Construction companies step up to hire veterans

We have great news for veterans to share: More than 100 construction companies from around the country have pledged to hire 100,000 veterans over the next five years.

It’s all part an initiative seeking to encourage non-government support for former troops.

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.

“Veterans are invaluable to the construction industry,” said Larry L. Melton, an executive with Bechtel Corp., 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.”

First Lady Michelle Obama announced the pledge.

“(Our servicemembers) have built cities in the middle of deserts halfway around the world. They’ve built schools in remote villages. They’ve repaired complex machinery in combat zones in the middle of the night. In short, our troops have taken on some of the most challenging projects in some of the most inhospitable places under some of the toughest deadlines and constraints,” she said.

Associations like the National Center for Construction Education and Research, the Home Builders Institute, The Associated General Contractors of America, and the Building Trades Association are also supporting the effort.

“Many of the skills and abilities gained during military training and service are highly transferable to the skills we require to successfully serve our clients around the world,” said Lori Sundberg, the senior vice president of human resources at Jacobs. “We are proud of the veterans working at Jacobs and appreciate their military service, their dedication, and the value they add to our company.”

The construction industry is expected to boom in the coming years. The Department of Labor estimates that more than 1.5 million construction jobs will be created between now and 2022.

About the Author


Larry Hannappel

Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.