Decorated General Joins Helmets to Hardhats in the Fight Against Unemployment Among Returning Military Servicemembers

May 31, 2010

WASHINGTON, May 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Lieutenant General Ronald S. Coleman, the second African American in U.S. history to obtain the rank of a three-star general in the United States Marine Corps, has been named the National Spokesperson for Helmets to Hardhats, a nonprofit dedicated to helping military servicemembers transition into quality careers in the construction industry.

As National Spokesperson, LtGen Coleman will build awareness and support for the program by speaking on behalf of Helmets to Hardhats with transitioning military personnel, government officials and construction industry representatives nationwide. “On this Memorial Day, as we remember our American brothers and sisters who died while in military service,” says Coleman, “I am pleased to be giving my support to an organization like Helmets to Hardhats, where I can continue to work toward improving the lives of those who have fought for our freedoms.”

LtGen Coleman brings an illustrious military background to the table. Coleman’s military career began in April 1968, and includes service in Vietnam, Okinawa, the Balkans, Haiti and Iraq. The General received his third star on October 27, 2006, following his appointment to serve as Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.

Coleman explains that the construction industry and the U.S. Armed Forces are ideal partners. “The military produces people with skills that are in demand in building trades,” he notes, “Our men and women are physically fit, perform well in team environments, pay attention to detail, respect and value safety protocols; but, most importantly, they can think creatively when confronted with obstacles that threaten the success of their mission.”

The U.S. labor department reported last year’s unemployment rate for young Iraq and Afghanistan veterans hit 21.1 percent, well above the 16.6 percent jobless rate for non-veterans of the same ages (18 to 24). By serving as a connection between military servicemembers and reputable construction firms, building trade unions, and training programs; Helmets to Hardhats is able to help returning servicemembers secure challenging but rewarding careers in the skilled trades that provide family-supporting wages, medical benefits and reliable pension plans. The free program also provides special opportunities for Wounded Warriors.

“I am honored that LtGen Coleman has accepted my invitation to work with us,” says Darrell L. Roberts, Executive Director of Helmets to Hardhats. Roberts says that thanks to continued support from the construction industry and the Department of Defense, the Helmets to Hardhats program is going strong, and has been able to successfully connect thousands of servicemembers with career opportunities in construction, even during these tough economic times. Now, he says, with General Coleman onboard, the program will receive increased recognition and support. “Few people in the military or in the civilian world have earned the respect and admiration that General Coleman has earned during his many years of meritorious service to his country,” says Roberts, “Having him on our team will greatly assist us in our mission to provide our returning sons and daughters with enhanced opportunities to realize the American Dream.”

About Helmets to Hardhats

Helmets to Hardhats was founded in 2003. It is administered by the Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment, and Veterans Employment (CMRAVE), a joint labor-management committee created by the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO, and their nine principle employer associations.

Collectively, these organizations represent 3 million construction workers and more than 82,000 contractors nationwide. For more information about Helmets to Hardhats, visit www.helmetstohardhats.org or call 866-741-6210.

SOURCE Helmets to Hardhats

Source: newswire

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