On Veterans Day, Navy veteran and Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers General President Gregory T. Revard appeared on America’s Work Force Union Podcast to tell his story and explain what the Insulators Union is doing to recruit veterans.
After serving in the Navy for three years, Revard returned to civilian life where he worked as a laborer whenever work was available. After about a year odd jobs, he found himself following his family’s footsteps into the Insulators Union apprenticeship program.
As a second generation apprentice, much of his work focused on asbestos abatement, peeking his interest. He became an asbestos abatement instructor and eventually worked his way up through Local 47’s leadership positions, to the International and now where he is today.
Revard said asbestos remains a very real threat to Insulators and all who come in contact with it. Although there are laws against its use in mass quantities, it is still used and exists today.
General President Revard then spoke about the importance of outreach to veterans.
He said veterans were ignored during the Vietnam War era and there were no programs in place to help them make a successful transition from a military career into a civilian career.
Today he said programs such as Helmets to Hardhats help veterans make the transition and find meaningful careers when they leave the service.
Touting the traits of many soldiers, Revard said veterans make excellent tradesmen and tradeswomen. He cited their punctuality, ability to follow directions, attention to detail and ability to work in adverse conditions help them succeed as tradespeople.
Later, Revard said the Insulators Union does their own outreach to veterans in both Canada and the United States by working with Helmets to Hardhats, North America’s Building Trades Unions and all else who help veterans make a smooth transition.