Each year thousands of veterans hang up their military uniforms in exchange for business suits. Many PCL employees, such as Brent Huntington and Kristine Turley, have successfully navigated this transition.
Brent Huntington is a staff sergeant in the US Marine Corps Reserve.
Huntington, a buyer for PCL’s Seattle operations, is also a staff sergeant in charge of logistic and training needs for 80-plus marine reservists based out of Joint Base Lewis McChord in Tacoma, Washington. Huntington recently returned from a year-long deployment in Afghanistan. In some respects, the transition between the military and his construction career was easy for him.
"Essentially everything I did as far as job functions in the Marines, such as job logistics and management, transferred to my work at PCL,” said Huntington.
Feeling at Home
While Huntington was deployed overseas, he and his family received monthly care packages from PCL’s Seattle office.
“PCL was awesome when I was gone and did a nice job welcoming me back,” said Huntington. “I really feel like I have a home here.”
In 2012, PCL won the Patriot Award for its support of US servicemen and women. The Patriot Award is a national honor recognizing employers who support veteran employees in exceptional ways. It is administered by the US Department of Labor and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
Lots to Offer
Another veteran who turned to the construction industry is Kristine Turley, a coordinator for the Health, Safety, and Environment department at PCL's Los Angeles operations. Turley served in both the Army and the Army National Guard stateside and overseas. For Turley, one of the most prominent differences between the military and the construction world is in relation to communication sensitivities.
Sergeant Kristine Turley served nine years in the US Army and the National Guard.
“The message may be the same, but the delivery can be as different as day and nigtht,” said Turley. “The people are key in both the construction and military world because it’s the team who gets the job done.”
Many veterans entering the workforce are making positive contributions towards rebuilding the US economy. For the construction industry in particular, they bring military discipline and diligence to their work while helping to build a sense of camaraderie on their teams.