Union Veterans Council Exec. Director says union membership helps veterans transition into civilian life

The veterans who served in the armed forces and fought for our country face issues when they eventually transition back to civilian life. Many of these issues stem from not being able to find a quality career.

As we celebrate Veterans Day, it is important to remember the struggles veterans face when they return home.

Union Veterans Council Executive Director Will Attig discussed how the council is helping to connect veterans to quality careers as union members, the struggles he faced when transitioning and more on America’s Work Force Union Podcast.

As a high school student during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Attig felt a calling to defend the United States. After enlisting right out of high school, he was deployed to the frontlines and defended the United States.

When he transitioned into civilian life in 2009, Attig was welcomed back to a crumbling economy without a college degree, minimal transferable skills to a civilian career and a loss of the brotherhood he was accustomed to in the service. He was introduced to Helmets to Hardhats, who helped him obtain welding certifications and eventually a pipe fitting career.

The Union Veterans Council

Attig said the Union Veterans Council represents about 1.1 million veterans who are now members of unions. He said that veterans are one of the most union dense demographics in the nation.

He added that the Union Veterans Council works to engage, educate and mobilize veterans. This does not stop once they are union members, however. Veteran union members organize charity events for their fellow veterans, host networking events to get other veterans into unions and host events where union veterans can come together for comradery.

Apprenticeship for veterans

Attig made a plea to his fellow veterans and listeners who know a veteran struggling to find a meaningful career. He urged them to look for a union job. Touting the earn while you learn apprenticeship model and sense of brotherhood and sisterhood felt in unions, he said union careers are great for veterans and can help them better transition back into civilian life.


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