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The construction industry is a major contributor to the U.S. economy, employing more than 7 million people and creating nearly $1.3 trillion worth of structures annually. An impressive portion of these employees have a military background—in fact, roughly 15.5% of all U.S. veterans will enter the construction industry at some point in their careers. 

Veterans acquire valuable skills throughout their service that are easily transferable to post-military jobs, and employers in various industries can play prominent roles in helping bridge the gap between concluding military life and entering the workforce by providing job opportunities. One industry that continues to stand out among the rest in terms of hiring and supporting veterans is the contracting and construction industry, which currently employs more than half a million veterans.

With the American workforce in dire need of productive workers, veterans can bring new and unique skill sets to the table. Employers need to not only hire veterans, but actively seek them out and prioritize the recruitment and involvement of these individuals. Several commonalities can be found in the physical workforce and military, including discipline, adaptation and loyalty. Contemplate the following transferable skills veterans acquire when considering them for contracting jobs.

Team-player

Optimal teamwork is essential in the success of any organization, regardless of industry, and the military continues to set standards that civilian companies try to mimic. Teamwork, alliance and unity are ingrained in military minds, serving as well-rounded traits in all facets. One's success as a leader in the military depends on how well they can communicate and prioritize teamwork. Working together maximizes the individual strengths of team members, and being an ultimate team player is thinking in terms of the greater good.

Easily adaptable

As situations can change rapidly and without notice in the military, veterans master adaptability and learn to improvise as their specific duties and tasks can be altered in a moment. Adaptable and flexible, veterans are quick learners and aren’t easily intimidated. Those who have served in the Armed Forces have to be adaptable—their lives and the lives of others have, at times, depended on adaptability.

Self-motivated and self-disciplined

Discipline, or "military discipline” as it is often referred, is defined as the state of order and obedience among personnel in a military organization and is characterized by the prompt and willing responsiveness. Without military discipline, members of military platoons likely wouldn't be able to function as one team during missions, exercises and training. Self discipline is one of the most important requirements for achieving success and performing at one’s highest level, and can be a dynamic asset to the success of companies that hire them.

Loyal and reliable

Loyalty and reliability are highly valued attributes that the majority of veterans instill. Loyalty is valuable because it allows us to take the risk of predicting the actions and behavior of people we trust. Veterans know the repercussions of their actions fall on the larger team and mission, therefore they don’t take lack of accountability lightly. Additionally, veterans have an innate, conscientious obligation to serve others. It’s this servant leadership philosophy that allows veterans to be selfless, putting the needs of their teams first and acting toward improving the organization, rather than only themselves.

The contracting and construction industries are equipped and prepared to welcome all veterans to the post-service workforce. Multiple dynamic traits acquired through military service can directly transfer to the business world, and this industry is no exception. When looking to expand the employee roster, consider starting with veterans and reap the long-term benefits.

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