Veterans in Construction: Where Accountability and Leadership Converge

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In honor of Veteran’s Day, Staples Construction is celebrating our team members who have made the transition from military service to the field of construction, and the unique perspectives they contribute to our industry. Mark Hodge, Director of Construction for Job Order Contracts of Staples Construction in Northern California, talks of the several ways Staples supports the military, as well as the benefit of hiring veterans. Mark has been with Staples since 2011 and was still actively serving in the National Guard when first joining the company. Inspired by the events of 9/11 and a calling to get involved, he served a total of six years, eventually departing the National Guard in 2014. Mark oversees three offices across Central and Northern California, with a staff totaling 23 employees— 35% of which have a military background. We sat down to discuss the benefits of employing veterans, the qualities they embody, and the culture they bring to the company.

When asked specifically about what makes Staples’ culture unique, Mark defines the company culture as setting a standard that others— both outside and inside the company— follow and meet. He relates that the employment of veterans “strengthens the core principles the company is founded upon”. When asked what qualities veterans bring to the workforce, Mark pinpoints his favorites— accountability and leadership.

Accountability and leadership are qualities practiced consistently in the military regiment. These qualities establish trust and a consistent work ethic. Accountability speaks to the trust within yourself, and team members, by ensuring necessary steps are taken to learn and perform your best. Bringing this mentality into the workplace outside of the military is highly beneficial to any company. Mark sees this firsthand at Staples in his recount of the several instances where individuals of a military background go above and beyond. He recounts an instance where one of the superintendent’s project managers was out, and he asked Mark for help regarding an urgent water leak at a medical center. Together, they worked efficiently to fix the problem amongst the chaos. Mark highlights the concentration and focus exhibited when solving the problem. Mitch Wise, the superintendent, was able to effectively fill him in on the situation and work through it. Mark reflects on Mitch’s efficiency and attitude during the situation. Mitch’s response to the water leak is one of the many examples of a veteran staying calm in a high-intensity situation.

Applying this mentality to one’s daily work is highly beneficial for any company. The type of attributes veterans carry over from the military embody core principles and effort valuable to any type of work. At Staples, we are honored to have those who once served in our United States Armed Forces, along with those who still do, to be working within the company. When asking owner and president of the company, David Staples, about the employment of veterans, he states, “after their service, any company stands to benefit greatly from having individuals who have gone through those life experiences come work for you.” David also continues to add that to practice patriotism is to support a veteran, and “you do this by more than just thanking them for their service. You do this by helping them and supporting them however best you can”.

Staples’ effort to support our military can be seen in our most recent project, Ventura Springs. This project is dedicated to housing and serving the veterans of our local community. Additionally, Mark relays that Staples continual employment of veterans exemplifies our support and dedication to support those who served or are serving. By continuing to ensure this group’s values and ethics are preserved within the entire company and its culture, we continue to honor their hard work and sacrifice each and every day.

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