Despite a rise in economic insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, Helmets to Hardhats assisted its construction industry affiliates in placing 2,324 military service members and veterans into building trades registered apprenticeship programs in 2020, according to new data released by the organization.
SMART is an active participant in Helmets to Hardhats – a national, nonprofit program that connects transitioning active-duty military service members, veterans and reservists with skilled training and career opportunities in the building trades.
“It underscores that there is a solid line from the military to the building trades, specifically in SMART, but with all the building trades,” said SMART Director of Organizing Darrell Roberts. “And, despite the pandemic, that line did not break.”
“There is a solid line from the military to the building trades, specifically in SMART, but with all the building trades. And, despite the pandemic, that line did not break.”
– SMART Director of Organizing Darrell Roberts
Roberts served in the U.S. Navy for four years, the Army National Guard for six years and is the former executive director of Helmets to Hardhats.
Helmets to Hardhats announced its total number of placements – or Known Successful Transitions (KSTs) data – for calendar year 2020 in May 2021. Since its inception in 2003, the organization has helped more than 38,000 military service members and veterans transition to the building trades, setting each of them on a pathway toward a middle-class, family-sustaining career in construction.
“This new data represents the collective efforts of all building trades unions and their signatory contractors to provide career opportunities for veterans and is a shining example of their commitment to this mission, even in terrible economic times,” said Helmets to Hardhats Executive Director David Porter.
“Helmets to Hardhats serves as a bridge for military service men and women in search of a secure career once their time in the armed forces comes to an end,” added Porter,. “These opportunities help ease the transition back into civilian life as they launch a new career.”
SMART TD Nebraska State Legislative Director Bob Borgeson invites all SMART members in his state to come out to Lincoln to participate in a Veterans Day parade at 2 p.m. this Saturday, Nov. 9.
“I hope for a good turnout,” he said.
A large portion of both the TD and Sheet Metal membership are veterans, and our union’s participation in these events help show an appreciation for U.S. armed forces veterans’ service to our country and the freedoms we in the United States enjoy.
TD Local 305 in Lincoln is the host Local for the event and has contributed toward defraying transportation costs for the event. Borgeson said other contributions to help offset those costs would be greatly appreciated and can be mailed to the Nebraska State Legislative Board’s office, 3333 S. 24th St, Omaha, NE 68108.
Checks should be made payable to the Nebraska State Legislative Board: NSLB LO030.
For additional information, contact Borgeson at (402) 679-0872 or SMARTDIRECTOR@cox.net.
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced nearly $2.3 million in grants, double the amount provided in 2014, to 13 technical and community colleges across the country to help train veterans and their families for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers. The funding is provided through FMCSA’s Commercial Motor Vehicle – Operator Safety Training (CMV-OST) grant program.
“We support job opportunities for Veterans who have served our country, but not only because it is the right thing to do, it also makes good sense,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “One of the most important, fastest growing employment sectors is for qualified commercial vehicle drivers and Veterans bring invaluable experience to the industry and can enter the workforce quickly.”
“We doubled the amount we have previously provided through this grant program because of the important role qualified commercial truck and bus drivers hold in moving our economy forward,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “The men and women who complete these commercial driver training programs also serve our country in a vital way by making safety their top priority every mile, every day.”
FMCSA awards CMV-OST grants to a variety of educational institutions that provide truck driving training, including accredited public or private colleges, universities, vocational-technical schools, post-secondary educational institutions, truck driver training schools, associations, and state and local governments, including federally-recognized Native American tribal governments.
The 2015 FMCSA grants announced today will provide training for hundreds of new students. The awards were made to the following organizations:
California – West Hills Community College District, Coalinga, $199,460
Georgia – Central Georgia Technical College, Macon, $146,771
Maryland – Cecil College, North East, $101,825
New York – Erie 2 Chautauqua Cattaraugus BOCES, Angola, $105,201
North Carolina – North Carolina Department of Transportation, Raleigh, $200,000
Ohio – Cuyahoga Community College District, Cleveland, $195,040
Oklahoma – Central Technical Center, Drumright, $200,000
Pennsylvania – Lancaster County Career & Technology Center, Willow Street, $194,811
Pennsylvania – Northampton County Area Community College, Bethlehem, $134,400
Pennsylvania – The Sage Corporation, Camp Hill, $198,504
South Carolina – Orangeburg-Callhoun Technical College, Orangeburg, $197,399
Texas – Alamo Colleges/ St. Phillip’s College, San Antonio, $196,680
Virginia – Tidewater Community College, Norfolk, $199,879
The Commercial Motor Vehicle – Operator Safety Training Grant Program was established by Congress in 2005 through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), to expand the number of commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders possessing enhanced operator safety training to help reduce the severity and number of crashes on U.S. roads involving large trucks and buses.
Under this program, state licensing agencies have authority to waive the skills test portion of the CDL application for active duty or recently separated veterans who possess at least two years of safe driving experience operating a military truck or bus. Waiving the skills test expedites the civilian commercial drivers licensing application process and reduces expenses for qualified individuals and operating costs to state licensing agencies.
FMCSA last year also announced that, beginning with Virginia residents, returning military service personnel who possess a state-issued Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) certificate due to a limb impairment will automatically be recognized as equivalent to an FMCSA-issued SPE certificate and allowed to obtain an interstate commercial driver’s license (CDL). FMCSA encourages other state licensing agencies to establish comparable equivalency SPE programs.
OMAHA, Neb. – Profiles in Diversity Journal recently recognized Union Pacific as one of the nation’s 25 Most Influential Companies for Veteran Hiring. The only railroad on the list, Union Pacific was selected for its commitment to veteran hiring, progressive reservist policies and dedication to supporting employee veterans.
“Union Pacific understands and values the skills veterans bring to the workforce,” said Roy Schroer, Union Pacific’s vice president of Human Resources. “The military instills a strong work ethic and world view that strengthens our organization at all levels.”
In 2013, Union Pacific hired more than 800 military veterans, including 95 disabled veterans. These veterans make up approximately 25 percent of all new hires in 2013. During the last five years, 24 percent of Union Pacific’s hires have been veterans, and overall, veterans comprise about 20 percent of the company’s workforce. Leadership and teamwork skills, wide-ranging areas of expertise gained during their service, familiarity with nontraditional working hours and experience working outdoors are just some of the characteristics that make military personnel a good fit with jobs at Union Pacific.
Union Pacific actively recruits veterans through its involvement with military transition offices, military education offices, reserve and National Guard units, career fairs, information sessions, employer panels, resume review assistance and by serving on local military committees and boards.
The railroad’s progressive reservist policy is one example of how Union Pacific supports its reserve, active duty and veteran employees, and their families. All employees called to active duty are compensated for any difference between military and company pay, and Union Pacific continues benefit coverage for deployed employees and their families. In addition, the employee resource group UPVETS is devoted to attracting, developing and retaining employees who are military veterans.
Union Pacific frequently is recognized for its commitment to military veterans. The company received the inaugural Hiring Our Heroes Award for Post 9/11 Veteran Employment and Internships from the National Chamber Foundation and has been named a military-friendly employer 10 times by G.I. Jobs. The company is a member of the Army Reserve’s Employee Partnership Initiative, supports the Army Partnership for Youth Success program, and is a past recipient of the Freedom Award, the U.S. government’s highest employer recognition.
Union Pacific offers many unique employment opportunities for veterans, including train crew, diesel mechanics, diesel electricians, assistant signal workers and track laborers. Engineers in the computer science, electrical, civil and mechanical areas will find leadership opportunities in the Information Technology department or through the company’s Operations Management Training Program. Interested candidates can view job postings at www.UP.jobs.
WASHINGTON – A new study released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommended a series of regulatory changes to further ease the transition of military personnel and veterans into much-needed civilian jobs driving commercial motor vehicles. In releasing the study, FMCSA also announced plans to implement the changes as soon as possible.
“Our military men and women make tremendous sacrifices in service to our nation, and helping veterans transition to the civilian workforce when they come home is just one way to show our gratitude,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Today’s report builds on the work FMCSA has already accomplished on behalf of our veterans and outlines opportunities to help even more qualify for jobs based on the skills and training they receive in the armed forces.”
The study, which was directed by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21 Century Act (MAP-21) one year ago, analyzed training, testing and licensing similarities and differences between military and civilian commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements. A number of federal and state regulatory changes were identified that would not adversely impact safety but would allow returning U.S. military personnel possessing extensive training and experience operating trucks, buses and other heavy equipment to more easily and conveniently receive a state-issued CDL.
The opportunities outlined in the report require formal rulemaking action, which FMCSA will initiate this year. The proposed changes include:
Extending the period of time, from 90 days to one year, in which an active duty and recently separated veterans can take advantage of a Military Skills Test Waiver. The waiver, which FMCSA first implemented in 2011, allows states to waive CDL skills tests for service members with two years of safe driving experience with similar vehicles. Today, 46 states and Washington, D.C. offer the waiver, which has already provided almost 2,000 military personnel a quicker pathway to a job;
Updating federal regulations to allow over 60,000 service members trained and employed in the operation of heavy vehicles, many of which are nearly identical to civilian commercial motor vehicles, to immediately qualify for a CDL while still on active duty; and
Allowing a service member who is stationed in one state, but licensed in another, to obtain a CDL before being discharged.
“The demand for truck drivers will continue to rise in the coming years, so we are taking action to remove the obstacles that prevent military veterans from finding employment in the industry,” said Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “The men and women who serve in uniform commit their lives to protecting our country — in many cases by operating heavy vehicles — and there are no better credentials for becoming a safe truck or bus driver.”
FMCSA will continue to explore other ways to ease the transition from military occupations to jobs requiring CDLs, including waiving the requirements for pre-employment drug testing for recently discharged military personnel based on their recent participation in random drug testing programs run by the military.
In August, FMCSA announced almost $1 million in grants to six colleges to help increase enrollment in commercial motor vehicle training programs, making it easier for veterans and their spouses to obtain CDLs and find transportation jobs. These grants are in addition to similar funding awards made by FMCSA two years ago.
The agency also granted a petition from Virginia in May to allow their military bases to be certified as third-party testers of military personnel for CDL knowledge and skills tests. New Mexico and Wisconsin are preparing to follow suit.
From 2010 to 2020, the need for heavy-vehicle drivers is expected to grow by more than 17 percent — faster than the national average for other occupations. Jobs as city, tour and school bus drivers, as well as light truck or delivery services drivers, are expected to continue growing at the national average.
OMAHA – U.S. Veterans Magazine named Union Pacific Railroad among the nation’s top veteran-friendly companies. The results were announced in the publication’s 2013 “Best of the Best” list, created to encourage diversity-inclusion practices among industry leaders.
“Being named a top veteran-friendly company is an honor that highlights our commitment to hiring and supporting veterans,” said Roy Schroer, Union Pacific vice president-human resources. “Military experience translates very well into the railroad industry. Veterans’ leadership skills and teamwork focus enhance our railroad’s safety, service and efficiency.”
Approximately 23 percent of Union Pacific’s nearly 3,900 hires in 2012 were veterans. Union Pacific is a member of the Army Reserve’s Employee Partnership Initiative; is a supporter of the Army Partnership for Youth Success program; and is a past recipient of the Freedom Award, the U.S. government’s highest employer recognition, and the Military Officers Association of America Distinguished Service Award.
U.S. Veterans Magazine selected Union Pacific based on evaluations that identified efforts to be accessible and outreach to veteran populations. The review process utilized independent and market research, interviews, diversity conference participation and survey responses.
WASHINGTON – Veterans and disabled workers who often struggle to find work could have an easier time landing a job under new federal regulations.
The rules, announced Aug. 27 by the Labor Department, will require most government contractors to set a goal of having disabled workers make up at least seven percent of their employees. The benchmark for veterans would be eight percent, a rate that could change from year to year depending on the overall number of former military members in the workforce.