ASA President’s Monthly Newsletter-April 2012

Dear ASA Member:

Recent reports suggest that the construction economy may have finally “turned the corner” to climb out of the Great Recession. Everyone would welcome the news that brighter days lie ahead. Such good news would also raise an urgent question for each subcontracting firm: Who does the company need to add to its team to take advantage of growth? My advice: Put veterans at the front of the interview line.

We cannot show enough gratitude to our nation’s veterans, who sacrifice every day for our freedoms. Thousands have paid the ultimate price to spare us from terrorism and other threats. Others receive injuries, physical and/or mental, requiring difficult and sometimes lengthy rehabilitation. Service members’ personal sacrifices include giving up time with loved ones — time that can never be regained or replaced. During deployments, they cope with major life disruptions.

Veterans shouldn’t have to sacrifice their livelihoods too. Through military experience and career training, they’ve proven themselves dedicated and effective team players — exactly the kind of employees that our businesses want to hire. Veterans are highly entrepreneurial; many choose to build their futures in civilian life within the construction industry. A study released March 29 by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy shows that nearly one-third of all veteran-owned firms are in two industries: construction or professional/scientific/technical services.

Last month, I met Bill Koch (, director of workforce development for Still Serving Veterans (, a 501(c)(3) charitable veterans’ service organization. Bill, who is responsible for developing a network with potential employers, told me that veterans with construction skills are among the hardest to place.

Let’s show our gratitude to the men and women who have worn our country’s uniform by taking the time to learn about the benefits of hiring veterans (which often include substantial tax benefits for employers) and taking steps to connect with the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us already and are now seeking work. Please put veterans at the front of your interview line by reaching out to Bill Koch or your contacts at the veterans’ service organization of your choice.If you have comments or questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail at

Very truly yours,

Kerrick Whisenant

ASA President, 2011-12

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