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Consider a career in carpentry

The United Brotherhood of Carpenters can help you achieve success post-separation

Veterans in the Brotherhood assemble to discuss recruitment, retention, outreach and mentoring. Photo courtesy Dale Dvorak

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Planning your future after your military career has ended can be overwhelming, but should be inspiring with a world of opportunity and options. Transitioning into the civilian world can be smooth if you choose a career that coincides with your previous experiences and skills. For many, a trade career in carpentry does just that, utilizing the structure and hard work ethic practiced in the military day after day. For many veterans, the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters has provided the training and resources to begin and maintain a fruitful career.

"Veterans outshine most people - the discipline and structure they learn in the military is the perfect transition. They serve well in our trade, and are actually preferred," said Dale Dvornak, Representative and Veteran Outreach Coordinator at the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters. With roughly 225,000 servicemembers leaving the military every year, and a shortage of nearly 1.7 million workers in technical trades, the council proudly and enthusiastically reaches out to veterans.

Having served time with the Marine Corps, Dvornak relates with the men and women wrapping up their military time, searching and deciding what's next for them. "We are creating a livable wage so somebody can get out and take care of their family. We just want to make people successful," Dvornak explained.

The goal for the council is to provide carpenters with proper training, qualifications, and setting high industry standards in safety, quality, and professionalism. The PNRCC partners with local project developers, government agencies, architects, contractors and public works by providing well-trained, professional and motived workers to job sites.

The PNRCC is a regional division of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, which was formed in 1881 by a group of carpenters uniting together for better pay and working conditions. Today, the council is made up of nearly 500,000 members nationwide in the construction and wood products industries. New members begin their training as an Apprentice Carpenter (while receiving benefits and pay), a program designed for those with little to no experience in carpentry. Roughly $200 million is dedicated to training members of the UBC, with over 250 training centers in the U.S.

Upon completion of the four-year apprenticeship program, the earning potential increases with journeyman status. The stigma that construction trades do not make a significant income is untrue, as journeyman carpenters can make upwards of $55/hour, and some even retire at 55 with a pension of $6,000 a month. While each member's experience and longevity is different, every member is guaranteed pay and benefits, including healthcare for their entire family.

Many servicemembers join the military because they are adventurous, not interested in a career stuck behind a desk. With the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, veterans can find a new career that has similar advantages of being in the military such as hands-on work, a structured schedule, and comradeship. Imagine a smooth transition into a satisfying and exciting career with big financial opportunity. If you are interested in learning more, the PNRCC will be at the Military Dream Big Fair Saturday, Feb. 16. Visit their booth at Capital Christian Center in Lacey from 9 a.m. to noon. For details and to RSVP, visit:

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