Alachua, Fla. – As of January 2013, roughly 844,000 veterans were unemployed and looking for work, including 252,000 post-9/11 veterans. Each year the military discharges between 240,000 and 360,000 service members and, with the need for overseas deployments decreasing, the military is expected to discharge a million service members over the next several years.

Despite having valuable military experience, veterans often find it difficult to obtain formal private sector recognition of their military training, experiences and skill sets through civilian certification and licensure. To help the construction industry and the military work together for a solution, NCCER and the Build Your Future (BYF) initiative are leading the “Fast Track to Civilian Employment,” project. To begin, NCCER and BYF are establishing a task force of contractors, owners and other stakeholders to develop a method of assessing, training and transitioning veterans into high skill, high wage careers in construction.

“Contractors hire veterans because they recognize that they have the field experience, skills and leadership abilities to excel as construction craft professionals,” said Diane Greene, executive director of the Build Your Future initiative. “We need a better way to connect with these returning military and show them how well their background translates to a career in our industry. Our goal with the ‘Fast Track to Civilian Employment’ project is to identify valuable skills, provide craft training when needed, and create an avenue for employers to connect with these talented veterans.”

Utilizing BYF’s Military Crosswalk, the program will allow veterans to identify how their Military Occupational Skill (MOS) codes align with NCCER’s industry-recognized, portable credentials. The program will include journey-level assessments and upgrade training for skilled workers. For those without construction skills, the program will offer accelerated safety and craft training allowing veterans to earn credentials for completing OSHA 10-hour training and NCCER’s Core Curriculum. The process is designed to ensure that veterans are able to easily transition into their chosen career pathways, and companies participating in the program’s task force will support the initiative by giving hiring preference to veterans with NCCER credentials.

BYF also recently released a new video resource entitled “Rethink Careers in Construction: Hire Military”, which provides first-hand insight from contractors and returning military on how veterans can transition into construction careers. The video was filmed during BYF’s recent visits to military career events with representatives from Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services, ISC Constructors and The Haskell Company.

Visit for more information and resources designed to connect returning military and construction employers looking to hire them.