- Jun 30, 2020
As part of Gilbane’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) Ally Series, Military Advantage ERG members provide perspective of the unique challenges they have faced and offer insight on becoming an ally for other ERGs as they cultivate their knowledge, experience and values to grow and build capacity for Gilbane, our industry and our communities.
We care. Serving in the military isn’t like other jobs. You take an oath, agreeing to put your life on the line to uphold the ideals of a nation. You work in harm’s way with people who become as close as family. And, when your service is done, you don’t ever stop being the soldier, sailor, airman or marine that the oath, your service and the support of your comrades helped you to become. Here at Gilbane, we value the mindset, skills and experience veterans bring to the construction industry. As part of our effort to serve, honor and respect our military members, families and veterans, we formed our Military Advantage ERG.
“Making the transition from the military to a civilian career isn’t always a straightforward process,” said Mark Manning, senior project manager, head of the Military Advantage ERG and former Marine. “Knowing that your employer really understands and values your military experience – and having an organized network of fellow-veteran employees for support – definitely makes it easier.”
We ally. “Our veteran recruiting effort is among the best in the industry and our ERG is all about providing the support veterans need to flourish in our industry,” explained Sr. Vice President and Military Advantage Executive Sponsor Adam Jelen. Part of that support comes through giving employees an avenue to give back to their communities. Military Advantage partners with Honor Flight, a national charitable organization that helps veterans make the trip to visit their war memorials in Washington, D.C. “We offer Gilbane employees the opportunity to volunteer on flights and – by applying the Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) Oculus technology we developed – to bring a virtual Honor Flight experience to veterans who aren’t well enough to make the physical trip to Washington,” Jelen explained.
We unite. Military Advantage supports efforts outside the veteran community as well. Recently, Military Advantage member, Gilbane Corporate Safety Director and retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Rebecca Severson facilitated a company-wide stand-down and moment of silence in support of UJIMA, our Black and African American ERG. “On all our Gilbane jobsites we come together to work as a family – expecting inclusion, acceptance and safety,” Severson said. “We all have a responsibility to stand up to racism wherever it shows up and drive change. We held this stand-down so that Gilbane jobsites and offices could reflect on how we all can be each other’s allies to stop social injustice and racism on our jobsites and offices.”
Our next Gilbane Ink blog in the ERG Ally Series will be published on Tuesday, July 7th featuring insights from Hol@ – a group dedicated to creating a place of inclusion for Hispanics to broaden career opportunities and be a visible and trusted resource within Gilbane to forge a culture-forward workplace and become the most Hispanic-friendly company in the industry.