Defense Funding Bill Offers Construction Money

The funding bill for operating the U.S. Department of Defense in 2003, signed into law in late October, contains a $3.4 million allocation for a new program addressing the current shortage of skilled construction-industry labor. The new Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment & Veterans Employment established by the bill is intended as a centerpiece of the "Helmets to Hardhats" program.

12/01/2002


The funding bill for operating the U.S. Department of Defense in 2003, signed into law in late October, contains a $3.4 million allocation for a new program addressing the current shortage of skilled construction-industry labor. The new Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment & Veterans Employment established by the bill is intended as a centerpiece of the "Helmets to Hardhats" program. This program is designed to recruit some 700,000 construction-industry workers over the next five years, drawing from the ranks of those leaving military service.

Jointly sponsored by the organized construction-employer groups and the Building and Trades of the AFL-CIO, the new center will assess veterans' readiness for various construction jobs. Those interested will then be connected with local apprenticeship programs for additional training, or placed with participating employers. Both union and open-shop contractors will be eligible to take part in the program.

Those veterans who gain employment through the program may just find themselves back on base—the bill also provides $10.5 billion for construction. This appropriation is intended for building and upgrading military installations and for building new military family housing.

From Pure Power, Winter 2002





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