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Our veterans deserve fulfilling careers, unmatched benefits, and retirement security

James Lynch | 11/13/2020, 6 a.m.
After serving four years in the United States Army, I returned to Baltimore.I was ready to transition from military to ...
Our veterans deserve fulfilling careers, unmatched benefits, and retirement security Courtesy Photo

After serving four years in the United States Army, I returned to Baltimore.I was ready to transition from military to civilian life and began exploring my options.

Upon being introduced to Helmets to Hardhats, a nonprofit program that connects transitioning service members to apprenticeship training programs in the building and construction trades, I felt that a career in the construction industry made sense.

More than 13 years later, and I know I chose the right career path. As a member of the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) Local 10, I have worked for smaller companies, as well as some of the biggest names in the industry— including Kone, Mitsubishi, and Otis.

In my early days as an apprentice, I earned wages and benefits as I worked my way through the training program.

Upon completion of the program, I was elated to graduate debt-free. Now, as a husband and father of three boys, I am grateful for not only my wages, but also for the benefits and retirement security associated with the IUEC.

I sleep well at night knowing that my family is taken care of and that my union’s pension is healthy.

This Veterans Day, I want my brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces to know that well-paying, fulfilling career opportunities exist in the organized elevator industry. It’s a post-military career that, in fact, requires many of the skills and qualities found in a service member— from diligence and grit to being a team player and ensuring safety is always the top priority.

James Lynch, International Union of Elevator Constructors, Local 10 Lanham, MD