Union Vets and DoL VETS in Honor of Labor Day Pledge to Support Workforce Development

Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO and U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service Labor Day pledge to support Transitioning Service Members, Veterans, and Military Families.

 Washington, D.C.—In recognition of Labor Day, the Union Veterans Council, AFL-CIO hosted a roundtable with U.S. Department of Labor, Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS), pledging unified support for transitioning service members through the labor movement’s Veteran Workforce Development Programs (VWDPs), our strong support of the Biden Administration’s “Build Back Better” agenda, and the veteran career opportunities that will be created through the American Jobs Plan. 

National unions, DOL VETS, veteran support organizations, and industry partners committed to continued collaboration in support of training and employment opportunities for transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses. The following remarks were   few made by esteemed leaders in attendance:

Medal of Honor Recipient, Allen J. Lynch-“The outreach this group is doing is changing lives, veterans that can use their skills when they get home succeed. Veterans often find themselves with too much month and not enough money at the end of the month, a union job is one of the best ways to fix that.” 

Margarita Devlin, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations and Management, DOL VETS -“This is important work we are doing together to advance apprenticeships and great careers with Union benefits.”

UWUA’s National President James Slevin-“Today's Labor Day discussion with AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council and DOL VETS was an opportunity to recognize our Union partners and leaders for the amazing programs like the Utility Workers Military Assistance Program that have changed the lives of those who have honorably served their country. 

UVC will be challenging our partnering agencies and legislators from across the country to do more. Continue to support funding to administer the tools provided to our service members like DOD Skillbridge Program. As these programs are growing the need to administer and fund them properly is just as relevant.”

The common thread and discussions amongst Union leaders and employers are that transitioning service members and veterans are a perfect fit for skilled labor occupations and the idea of a more holistic and comprehensive approach will help improve, streamline, and surface opportunities for growth in the veteran’s community,  

“We find ourselves at a historic moment with an opportunity to not only change the lives of countless transitioning service members, veterans and military families but also help change and improve the policies and systems that support workforce development in this community,'' said Will Attig Executive Director of the Union veterans Council AFL-CIO, “The Union Veterans Council is encouraged by the policy initiatives prioritized by the Biden Administration to date and its openness to making meaningful improvements in the lives and experiences of veterans and transitioning service members.”

Veterans develop valuable skills during service such as teamwork, accountability, and mission accomplishment. Funding for job training programs and federally registered apprenticeship programs needs to be increased—for the health of veterans and for the health of our country. Through greater public investment in these programs, President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda can connect veterans with good careers for life.


The UVC’s committee on veteran workforce development is led by leadership that represents the labor movement’s veteran workforce development and training initiatives. Participating trade organizations have created the model for “earn while you learn” apprenticeship training programs, utilizing the Skillbridge program that includes the United Associations Veterans in Piping (VIP), The Utility Workers of  Union of America Military Assistance Program (UMAP), The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Veterans Electrical Entry Program (VEEP), and  The Seafarers International Union Military to Maritime