Construction industry looks to hire 100,000 veterans by 2019

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The construction industry has pledged to hire 100,000 veterans in the next five years in a move the first lady said will boost the economy while helping veterans returning home.

With unique skills that can be hard to describe on a resume, some veterans have struggled to find employment after deployment.

More than 100 companies announced their commitment at a department of labor conference with Michelle Obama and Jill Biden.

Eau Claire County Veteran Service Officer Clifton Sorenson said he often advises veterans to get a college education, but he said the skills they learn while in the service are valuable in the workplace.

“All of us got skills in doing orders, research in regulations, translating regulations into action. We all had to do that,” Sorenson said.

“The demand will be there and to fulfill the demand, our vets need that extra push and with this campaign, I think it's going to be there.”

“They have gone over into the middle of the desert, and built and entire structure, a defense structure. They have this knowledge of how to do things.”

Brett Gaboy with North Central Insulation and Hagen Decorators in Altoona said his company was founded by a veteran and it hopes to find talented veterans to employ at the Hiring Our Heroes job fair in Mar.

“One of the things you look for in hiring people is their integrity, work ethic, past experience factors in but veterans have a lot of good attributes that you look for in an employee,” Gaboy said.

“They have great work ethic, we just want to honor them for their service to our country and think ... hopefully we can find a great match in our company.”

The Hiring Our Heroes job fair is Mar. 25 at the National Guard Armory in Eau Claire.

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