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Minnesota Senate debating bill that would help veterans start a new career in construction

The Kenyon Leader - 3/9/2017

St. Paul ? Veterans who are looking to transition into a new civilian career would receive an extra boost thanks to a bill being debated in the Senate. The Senate Jobs Committee recently heard Senate File 1350, which would provide a $200,000 grant in each of the next two years to the "Helmets to Hard Hats" program.

"Helmets to Hard Hats" is a national nonprofit that helps military service members transition into civilian life by connecting them with opportunities in the construction industry. Many of these opportunities are with federally-approved apprenticeship programs that provide non-cost training and require no experience.

"This is a bill that goes right to my heart. It helps veterans who are coming back from active duty find jobs and get into apprenticeship programs through their local unions and the Department of Labor and Industry," said Sen. Goggin. "Veterans have a great work ethic and this is a great opportunity to apply their skills to great industries that need more workers."

According to testimony on the bill, "Helmets to Hard Hats" has helped place thousands of veterans into construction trade jobs since its founding in 2003. Veterans make up 4.9% of Minnesota's workforce, but 9.6 percent of the trades workforce. This success is in large part thanks to "Helmets to Hard Hats."

"The competition for veterans is intense," added Sen. Goggin. "This funding will help us attract and retain more talented veterans in Minnesota. It is a great tool that has proven to be successful over the years. Veterans will benefit, the trades will benefit, and the state will benefit."

Senate File 1350 was laid over and will be considered for the Jobs Committee Omnibus bill later in session.


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