Over and over we hear employers raving that their best employees are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. They should go to the top of the sources you consider for multiple reasons. 

– Chuck McKay

Hire Veterans Reentering the Local Job Market

Veterans of our military services are excellent team players. They are mature, disciplined, focused, have strong work ethics, proven leadership abilities, and possess highly desirable technical qualifications.

Recently discharged vets are looking for work. Military Occupational Specialties (MOS numbers on left) translate directly into the contracting skills you need.

49-9021.00  Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration
47-2152.00  Plumbers
47-2111.00  Electricians
47-3016.00  Roofers

49-9099.01  Geothermal Technicians
49-9081.00  Wind Turbine Service Technicians
47-2152.04  Solar Thermal Installers and Technicians
47-4099.03  Weatherization Installers and Technicians

47-2021.00  Brick Masons and Block Masons
47-2022.00  Stonemasons
47-2051.00  Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers
49-2022.00  Telecommunications Equipment Installers and Repairers

37-1012.00  Landscapers
47-2031.00 Carpenters

Getting in touch with qualified veterans isn’t as easy as picking up the phone, since there is no national registry to help vets find employment. Many states don’t have one either. Call your local VA office and ask which resources they recommend.

In addition to local job listings, sources that may prove useful include Military.com, Vets.gov, Recruit Military, HireVeterans.com, VeteranJobListings.org, Veterans.gov, HotJobs.vet, and the National Veterans Foundation (NVF).

The US Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop Business Center may be useful as well.

In all of your advertising, tell people you welcome applicants with military experience.

Tax Credits

There are possible tax advantages to hiring our veterans.

  • The Work Opportunity Tax Credit is a federal hiring incentive that provides up to $9,600 in tax credits for hires of qualified military veterans.
  • The Returning Heroes Tax Credit can provide $2,400-$9,600 for each veteran hired.
  • The Wounded Warriors Tax Credit provides up to 40% of the first $24,000 ($9,600) when businesses hire veterans with service related disabilities.

In addition to federal credits, some states offer incentives as well. At the time of this writing, those states include Alabama, Alaska, California, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia. Check each state’s Veteran’s Agency and Workforce Development Office for updates.

Have You Considered Retirees?

There are experienced technicians who have officially retired, but who wish to stay active, to stay current in their technical abilities, and pay for their hobbies. These techs can be a goldmine if you have seasonal pressures to hire more techs. They may well be willing to work part time during your peak seasons.

The best way to start looking for these retired technicians may well be to make friends with your local counter guys. They seem to know everyone.

In Part 16 you’ll be invited to consider on the job training for people with the attitudes and work ethic to be a success in your organization.


The content for this series of posts was taken from Chuck McKay’s The Personality Prescription for Contractors, available on Amazon.

Links to previous posts in this series:

Part 1 – Stalled Growth

Part 2 – Never Cut Price

Part 3 – You’re Choosing Cheap Ones

Part 4 – Other Homeowners’ Motivations

Part 5 – Let’s Sell Something

Part 6 – Uniqueness

Part 7 – Company Culture

Part 8 – Your Company’s Reputation

Part 9 – Using Your Culture

Part 10 – The Company Spokesperson

Part 11 – You Should be a Celebrity

Part 12 – The Perils of Celebrity

Part 13 – Finding Talent

Part 14 – The Local Labor Pool