Keeping Veterans Working in North American Shipyards

By MarEx 2018-03-12 15:50:00


Joseph O. Wesley retired from the Army during a recession in 1982. Unable to find work as a heavy equipment operator, he used skills learned in the military to open a small electrical contracting business in Cleveland, Ohio. Joe took on any project to get by, completing each to perfection as if it were to be scrutinized by his former commanders. His business grew as a result, and so did the challenge of finding qualified electricians to meet his fluctuating workload on projects around town.

This problem led Joe to found one of the nation’s first skilled trade-focused, veteran-owned staffing services, Tradesmen International. 25 years later, the company – now owned by The Blackstone Group – has local recruitment and operations facilities in every major port city in the United States. Overall, combining its shipyard and commercial construction operations, the company has 171 offices that support shipyard construction, repair, retrofit and decommissioning projects on coasts, lakes and rivers throughout North America. The company regularly keeps more than 10,000 maritime and commercial trade employees working on leading shipbuilders and contractor’s projects daily – a true veteran success story.

“Our company has always welcomed former members of the military onto our marine and commercial staffing teams,” said Matt McClone, Tradesmen International’s VP of Workfo....

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