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New Government Programs Promote Veteran Hiring

by: Smith and Howard

June 26, 2014

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The construction industry needs a few good men and women. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the industry will add more than 1.6 million jobs in the decade leading up to 2022. To help meet this lofty goal, industry leaders recently pledged at the White House to hire 100,000 veterans before 2020.

Online recruitment tools

The U.S. Department of Labor offers a centralized online resource specifically designed for business owners, including contractors, looking to hire veterans. At CareerOneStop.org (http://www.careeronestop.org), companies can post hiring notices targeted to former members of the military who are looking for work. Other resources include:

VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Services

(http://www.benefits.va.gov/benefits). Designed particularly to develop job skills for wounded veterans, this program offers assistive technology, salary subsidies and training opportunities.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce
(http://www.hiringourheroes.org/hiringourheroes/employer-roadmap). This business trade group has organized “Hiring Our Heroes,” a program that matches veterans with private sector jobs.

HR resources

In addition to announcing job openings, the CareerOneStop Web portal also provides human resources managers with tools designed for veteran recruitment. These include:

Civilian-to-military occupation translator
(http://www.careeronestop.org/businesscenter/civilian-to-military/civilian-to-military-translator.aspx). Because the military and private sector often speak different languages in the workplace, this online tool allows hiring managers to convert titles for construction trades and other skilled labor into the U.S. military equivalent.

Interviewing and hiring guides
(http://www.careeronestop.org/businesscenter/recruitandhire/interviewandhire/interview-and-hire.aspx). The CareerOneStop portal provides a sizable list of Web pages covering the ins and outs of the hiring process. Topics covered include selection and prescreening tips, effective interview questions (and illegal ones), and how to effectively handle onboarding.

Tax credits

Construction companies that hire veterans may qualify for one or more federal tax credits possibly worth up to $9,600 per new employee. (As of this writing, the Work Opportunity credit has expired but is expected to be extended.) These programs were developed to meet the diverse needs of construction businesses and other complex industries. Focuses include:

  • Long-term skills development,
  • On-the-job training,
  • Nonpaid work experience, and
  • Expanded education programs.

In some cases, veteran employees may also receive VA-subsidized salaries during the temporary training period, further defraying the cost of bringing former service members on board.

Skilled labor solution

Military veterans may offer a quick solution to getting trained employees on the job. Don’t hesitate to explore the resources offered, and work with your Smith & Howard tax advisor to target any credits or other tax breaks available.

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