Category: Veterans

Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce Veterans in Workforce Summit September 27, 2019

Construction Business Group’s Mindy Mulryan and Operating Engineer’s Leroy Miller attended Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce’s Veterans in the Workforce Summit at the Baird Conference Center in Milwaukee on Friday, September 27th.  Attendees heard from Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman and Division Administrator of Department of Veterans Affairs Donald Placidi. 

Keynote speaker Bill Ball, CEO of Grunau, spoke on the efforts of his company and their parent company, API Group, to not only recruit and hire veterans and spouses but to also support them after the hiring process.  API Group has established a rotation program for vets which introduces them to the various aspects of the construction industry while also drawing on the valuable leadership skills that vets bring to the organizations. 

The summit wrapped up with a question and answer panel in which attendees heard from representatives from Froedtert, Associated Bank, Cargill, and American Family Insurance. Panelists spoke about the leadership traits that our vets bring to the workforce in all industries -from banks to manufacturing to construction to hospitals – the message was the same, our vets have the essential skills that businesses are looking for in employees. These essential skills are transferrable skills in leadership and collaboration. 

For more information on the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, please visit:

For more information on how Construction Business Group and Operating Engineers are supporting veterans in the construction trades, please visit:

Badger Yellow Ribbon Outreach

Leroy Miller, Business Agent for IUOE Local 139, and Dan Eckstrom, Human Resources Business Partner at Walbec Group, recently attended a National Guard Reintegration event in Milwaukee for 100 returning military members and their families.

Leroy and Dan, themselves both veterans, were able to share their personal stories and promote the great career opportunities available to veterans with Wisconsin Operating Engineers.

Badger Yellow Ribbon Support Specialist Matt Marose shared the following feedback:

Even if folks don’t necessarily write it down, I want you to know I have heard VERY positive feedback regarding your brief and how raw and emotional it is.  Most anyone can relate in one way, shape or form (myself included and I’m an Air Force guy).   Keep up the GREAT WORK!  

Struggles with work, substance abuse, and PTSD are at the heart of a majority of the issues throughout the DoD and I think the first-hand account you and your reps bring forth is invaluable.  As a matter of fact one of our attendees said “Those guys are [. . .] awesome” when you were done briefing… and then one of my support staff members repeated that same phrase later in the day.  

Watching the faces of the people in the room and all of the nods throughout the briefing, I know your message is well received.   I appreciate the wonderful job you do and am thankful for your continued support.” 

Thank you Leroy and Dan for sharing your personal stories and promoting the industry to our returning veterans.


A Great Career Choice for Veterans

The Wisconsin Operating Engineers, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, offers the Combat to Construction (“C2C”) program. The C2C program is designed to introduce Veterans, including currently serving Guard and Reserve Soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, to careers in the construction trades. Upon successful completion of a 2 to 3-week non-paid training program at the Operating Engineers’ training facility, the Veteran may receive full-time, paid employment opportunities within the State of Wisconsin as an Operating Engineer apprentice. As an apprentice, a Veteran has access to a well-respected training program, a progressive, family-sustaining wage scale with benefits, and a career as an Operating Engineer.

Click here to learn more about the Combat to Construction program.