National Center for Construction Education & Research
ALACHUA, Fla. — As part of their commitment to help veterans and returning military make a smooth transition into rewarding construction careers, NCCER and its Build Your Future (BYF) initiative have developed the Hard Hat Heroes campaign to assist in recruiting, training and hiring veterans. The Hard Hat Heroes program provides military service members and veterans with access to free online training and a portal to connect with interested employers.
NCCER and its publisher, Pearson, are donating $1 million of online Core Curriculum to veterans and service members to provide them with training and credentials. Veterans and service members who want to take advantage of this opportunity and organizations interested in offering training can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For service members with construction training and/or experience who are interested in taking NCCER assessments, GI Bill® funding can be used towards the cost of exams for many of NCCER’s journey-level craft and management assessments. Service members and/or veteran beneficiaries may be reimbursed by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the cost of exams. To receive reimbursement, veterans must be eligible for the GI Bill® and have entitlement remaining. The VA will pay for each NCCER written and performance assessment regardless of a pass or fail outcome. While there is no limit to the number of assessments that can be taken, the same assessment cannot be taken more than four times in a 12-month period, and the VA will deduct one month of entitlement for each exam that a veteran beneficiary seeks reimbursement. Interested individuals can visit byf.org/military for a complete list of NCCER assessments that are recognized by the VA, as well as reimbursement guidelines and a GI Bill fact sheet.
Hard Hat Heroes is in the process of expanding its military crosswalks to include Military Occupational Specialty alignments for task levels, which allow military members to receive credit for skills and training already achieved through their service. These crosswalks will help employers understand and recognize the skills that service members have in various crafts within the industry.
Along with the craft training and assessment opportunities available to veterans and service members, NCCER and BYF have also partnered with the Folds of Honor Foundation to create an annual scholarship for the children and spouses of fallen and wounded soldiers. The scholarship includes a $20,000 annual donation for five years to individuals seeking construction-related degrees or certificates. To apply for the scholarship, visit byf.org/scholarships.
With an expected workforce shortage of 1.5 million craft professionals by 2019 and more than 1 million service members projected to leave the military over the next five years, veterans and the construction industry make the perfect fit. NCCER remains committed to helping returning military transition into rewarding, high-wage construction careers through its program of training and assessments.
NCCER and BYF would like to thank the following industry partners for supporting Hard Hat Heroes and committing to hire our nation’s veterans: Associated Builders and Contractors, The Associated General Contractors of America, Bechtel, Brock, Cajun Industries, Consolidated Electrical Contractors, Crossland Construction, Florida Masonry Apprentice & Education Foundation, Fluor, ISC, Jacobs, KBR, L.P.R. Construction Co., Marek Brothers, NAWIC Education Foundation, Overland Contracting, PALA, Performance Contractors, Inc., S&B, Sundt, TIC, Turner Industries, Worth and Company, Inc. and Zachry.