Many members of the military pursue careers in the building trades after they complete active duty, and Local 12 counts quite a few vets among its members. There are resources available to support veterans, such as the VA’s SEEK program (see article in this issue). They are also entitled to G.I. Bill payments while they are participating in apprenticeship programs.
People may be aware of G.I. Bill benefits that help returning members of the armed forces attend college. But the military’s educational program extends to trade apprentices as well. Veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserve as well as spouses and dependents of deceased or disabled veterans can apply for financial payments to help support them while they participate in approved apprenticeship programs. Local 12’s training center is a VA-approved education and training program.
The military and the government promote the G.I. Bill program as a way for employers and unions to recruit and retain employees and members. Veterans, meanwhile, can use the funds to help pay their living expenses while they work towards their journeyman licenses.
Helmets to Hardhats is another great resource. The non-profit organization connects returning military service members and veterans with training and career opportunities in the construction industry. Many veterans have found their way to Local 12 through Helmets to Hardhats.
Information, including access to application forms, about apprenticeship for veterans and G.I. Bill benefits is available at the Mass.gov Website.