VetsBuild: Career Opportunities in Green Construction for All Long Island Veterans

My Commentary

As a job seeker myself, I enjoy reading and writing about worthwhile Long Island employment opportunities. VetsBuild offers Long Island veterans a clear path to employment in green construction.

VetsBuild Offers Free Job Training to Veterans

Since 2012, VetsBuild has been training veterans to work in home construction, with the support of a grant from Bank of America, according to Tim Scherer, Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom Coordinator for United Veterans Beacon House in Bay Shore. The five-week, hands-on course introduces students to weatherization and energy efficiency, and this year’s major course update also includes HVAC work. At the end of the course, VetsBuild will provide individual career counseling and job leads and, if desired, help veterans find additional education or training opportunities. Training takes place at the United Way’s E3 Career Training Center in Deer Park, where veterans will obtain first-hand experience with modern technology and equipment.

HVAC, OSHA, and Gas Certification Training for Long Island Veteran Job Seekers

According to a program flier, the VetsBuild course will also provide the following certification training:

  • Industry certification training for Bosch/Buderus state of the art high efficiency heating equipment and HVAC
  • OSHA 10-hour training program and certification
  • Gas 101 certification training with National Grid

Advantages of VetsBuild’s Long Island Green Construction Courses

“Electricians, plumbers, everybody will use green construction because everyone wants to conserve energy. Everyone’s rooting for this to succeed,” explained Scherer, who is in charge of VetsBuild recruitment and outreach on Long Island. According to Scherer, the VetsBuild program was based on the success of YouthBuild, a similar program for Long Island youth.

Scherer explained several key course advantages, including learning in-demand new construction methods and gaining networking opportunities that lead to real employment. As businesses look for new ways to save money, they seek out green construction and energy efficiency professionals, he said. “We have guys from the industry that come in and teach… They’ve been very helpful in job placement,” he added.

Long Island Green Construction Jobs for Veterans After VetsBuild

As of 2013, the course is now open to all veterans, Scherer said. When veterans complete the course, they are trained and eligible for entry level green construction jobs as weatherization specialists, installing insulation. As the veterans gain experience, they can become crew leaders or energy auditors. They may also choose to pursue opportunities in the plumbing, heating, and air conditioning industries, and, with additional training, the electrical industry.

Advice for Long Island Veterans Seeking Educational Opportunities

Scherer had some final advice for all veterans seeking educational opportunities: “Whenever you apply for any educational opportunity, make sure that you ask if there are any veteran’s benefits available. A lot of times, they have grants and programs.”

More Information about VetsBuild

To contact Tim Scherer about VetsBuild courses, call (631) 665-1571. For more information about veteran’s programs, visit Nassau County’s Web page for returning veterans.

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