Brothers and Sisters,

IUOE Local 4 is committed to giving back to organizations supporting our communities. Due to the generosity of our membership, we were able to donate over $10,000 to Veterans, Inc. and House in the Woods this year.

Building a strong foundation for our veterans is of the utmost importance, and I am grateful that our union has been able to donate toward providing resources and support. Our communities are stronger because of our veterans, and we must continue uplifting organizations that support them.

To this extent, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette recently published an op-ed I authored. You can read the full piece below!

William McLaughlin: Supporting our veterans vital to strength of our communities

William McLaughlin

“They were there when we needed them. We must be there now that they need us.” – Veterans, Inc.

Even as we deal with the risks posed by the COVID-19 crisis and the challenge of building a stronger Worcester, we must not lose sight of those who have sacrificed for us – our veterans.

As a leading building trades union in the region, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 4 is not only committed to building needed infrastructure, but also to laying a strong foundation for our veterans.

Massachusetts is home to more than 300,000 veterans and we must not leave them on the sidelines. For these reasons, we have donated $5,124 to Veterans, Inc. to help fight veteran homelessness and provide the critical services they need in Worcester and throughout New England. 

Veterans, Inc. is a crucial pillar of the Worcester community, as they’ve saved and improved thousands of lives through their work. It has helped more than 85,000 veterans in need, giving them the tools necessary to rebuild their lives, become self-sufficient, and reconnect with family, friends, and their community. Our latest contribution to Veterans, Inc. serves as a reminder that we are investing in the strength and spirit of our society when we have our veteran’s backs.

Our veterans continue to face one of the biggest challenges in our society – homelessness. And we know the disheartening truth that veterans are at greater risk of becoming homeless than other Americans due to their complex experiences, which increase the likelihood of struggling with substance abuse, mental illness, and economic insecurity.

Aiding veterans experiencing homelessness is essential to combating homelessness altogether. Now more than ever, we must rise to the occasion and support our veterans, whether it’s by building partnerships with charity organizations such as Veterans, Inc. or by donating to their efforts. Without a strong commitment, too many veterans and their families will be left out in the cold.

By equipping organizations that provide resources to veterans with needed resources, we can aid their transition back to civilian life and mitigate the challenges they face. We can only truly build our communities when we create safe spaces for all to flourish and live fulfilling lives. 

We know that our veterans are committed to serving AND building our communities. That’s why Local 4 makes a strong effort to recruit veterans to our union, and we know that veterans deserve life-sustaining employment that provides the wages and benefits needed to support their families.

Investing in veterans within our communities goes a long way, especially when their success has a positive impact on our collective future. Too many veterans are not receiving the services they need to transition to life outside the military. There is a great need for assistance from veterans’ service providers like Veterans, Inc., employers, institutions of higher learning, and community members.

There are several effective ways for communities to recognize, support, and collaborate with veterans. Fortunately, we know what works: Investing in our veterans to provide the critical services they lack.

Central to accomplishing this is the integration of behavioral health treatment with housing, job training, and case management – all services that Veterans, Inc. offers. Supporting the transition of service members to life outside the military is not just a way to honor those who have sacrificed for this country, it is an investment in the future of our communities.

As a union leader in our region, Local 4 is proud to have many operating engineer veterans among our ranks and we are here to support their success in both their personal and professional lives.

William McLaughlin is the business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 4. Operating Engineers Local 4 is a building trade union representing more than 5,000 heavy equipment operators, apprentices, mechanics, surveyors, equipment house employees, and wastewater technicians throughout Eastern Massachusetts, Eastern New Hampshire, and the state of Maine.

In Solidarity,

William D. McLaughlin
Business Manager
Operating Engineers Local 4