Construction is a great industry/career for veterans to transition into and grow within whatever field they choose.
United Veterans Housing Coalition is a non-profit organization I established in 2015. I’ve had a lot of experience working with veterans, and I believe they are a special caliber of human, with character traits any manager would wish for in all employees. Veterans excel at getting the job done and doing it in the most efficient way possible.
Almost every one of my employees has some connection to veterans. Some have a family member or friend in the military, and some have served in some branch of service themselves. They love the particular fields that have to do with building and managing. Veterans see budgets and deadlines as the kind of challenges they welcome with open arms.
I firmly believe that, with the proper training and opportunities, veterans can succeed in the construction field better than any other group. The jobs in the construction industry that I have found to best match veterans’ capabilities and hunger for success are building inspectors, OSHA compliance trainers/inspectors, carpenter/framers, and general contractors. General contractors are tasked with forming teams of individuals to set and achieve goals. Framers (those that build the houses, additions, etc.) still get to use heavy-duty power tools and machinery.
United Veterans Housing Coalition has three main goals, all benefiting veterans:
- Building housing for homeless veterans in Los Angeles County, currently the area with the largest population of homeless veterans in the country. In the future, United Veterans Housing Coalition intends to branch out, ultimately becoming a nationwide effort.
- Employing and training veterans who are looking for jobs, helping them to identify what they would enjoy doing in the construction field.
- Helping cure PTSD, one veteran at a time if necessary.
The housing built by United Veterans Housing Coalition is constructed in the form of a “complex”—it typically houses between 15 and 50 homeless veterans in a development complex capable of offering onsite PTSD care with professional caretakers, activities to keep the mind working, schooling, training, ride transfers to and from doctors/VA appointments, and large shared kitchens.
This housing can be designated temporary or permanent housing for veterans, depending on the need. Some veterans require more help than others. The ideal scenario is to house homeless veterans, rehabilitate them, and have them go out on their own with the tools and support they need to start a successful career. Veterans don’t want people doing favors for them—they want to earn it.