WASHINGTON - Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and Orion International, a leading military placement agency, have launched VeteransBuildAmerica.org, an interactive Web site designed to link U.S. veterans making the transition from the military to civilian life with construction contractors seeking employees.

"At this time of year, we honor the selfless men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our nation," said Kirk Pickerel, ABC's president and CEO. "This Veterans Day, ABC is proud to launch VeteransBuildAmerica.org. We realize that the transition from military life to civilian life can sometimes be difficult. It is our hope that VeteransBuildAmerica.org will help ease this transition by providing opportunities for veterans to begin a career in the U.S. construction industry."

The Web site, which will be managed by Orion, features a keyword search engine for job seekers that allows them to search for specific positions in certain geographic areas. Veterans can also browse through lists of available positions, or post their resumes for employers to review. ABC member firms seeking to hire veterans are allowed to post job notices free of charge. Non-ABC members are charged a small fee to post notices.

"We've been working for more than 15 years to assist individual veterans in finding high-quality employment. Our online component is state-of-the-art in our industry, so we're honored to provide not only our expertise in military recruiting, but equally our technology to the VeteransBuildAmerica.org Web site," said Bill Laughlin, CEO of Orion International, Raleigh, N.C. "For our industry to work in conjunction with the construction industry to find civilian jobs for veterans approaches perfection: with the construction employee shortfall and the 250,000 military personnel transitioning out annually, these industry sectors need each other."

"This partnership is a win-win for ABC and its 23,000 member firms," said Pickerel. "The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the construction industry will need to hire 240,000 skilled craftworkers per year to keep pace with growth demands and replace workers who leave the industry, a serious concern as the baby boomer generation prepares to retire. Military professionals have a demonstrated ability to learn new skills and concepts, and can quickly integrate into construction jobs. Veterans have identifiable and transferable skills that have already been proven in real-world situations."

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national association representing 23,000 merit shop construction and construction-related firms in 79 chapters across the United States. For more information, visit www.abc.org.

Publication date: 11/07/2005