In 2018, nearly 900 veterans have found a new career in Ohio’s Building Trades’ registered apprenticeship programs, according to ApprenticeOhio. The hard work, accountability, and collaboration these men and women learned in the military is paying off for construction contractors; and the good wages, camaraderie, and benefits are helping former military personnel transition to life back home in the Buckeye state.
Dylan Trout, a new Journeyman Wireman with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 683 in Columbus, said that the transition made a lot of sense for him. “Most guys I know in my unit like to work with their hands,” said Trout. “They like the atmosphere that a unit creates. We work together and get a lot of stuff done. I find the same thing on a construction site, in a trade.”
For employers in the construction industry, having skilled craftsmen and women on the job that have a military training is a big advantage. The values that veterans learned in the military translate to the jobsite. The work ethic, leadership skills, accountability, and teamwork result in efficient work, bringing projects in on time and on budget.
“I use my Army values every day,” says Trout. “I try to lead the guys in the work we are performing. Respect is another big one. And ‘self of service’ – I’m looking out for the guys, and the job.”
There is a steady stream of returning veterans and Ohio National Guardsmen looking for new careers. Seth Moore, a second year apprentice with Laborer’s Local Union 329 in Lima, Ohio wants people to know that “The money is outstanding and the insurance is awesome. My wife is in school, and we don’t have to worry about living paycheck to paycheck.” Many apprentices can also use their GI Bill to supplement their wages, as well, making Journeyman wages from the start.