August 2016—Representatives of all branches of the armed forces converged on the American Legion’s Washington, DC headquarters in April to discuss matters relating to the certification of military personnel. The Credentialing Roundtable was also attended by construction employers of veterans, accrediting agencies, and certification bodies. NCCCO was one of only five certification bodies from thousands nationwide selected to attend the invitation-only event.
The Roundtable, one of four to be scheduled by the American Legion, and intended to build on the positive momentum developed at its National Credentialing Summit last year, focused on the credentialing of service members and veterans in the construction, manufacturing and energy sectors. The Legion’s goal was to obtain input on the types of credentials being sought by employers, and what value they believed certification offered.
The consensus of employers present—many of which operate in the Gulf Coast’s petrochemical environment and who maintain an active veterans’ hiring policy—was clear: Certification offered numerous safety and productivity benefits which, when matched with veterans’ renowned work ethic, made for a winning combination, they agreed. All contractors present used CCO certification as a hiring requirement for crane operators.
Participants also discussed the effect of Section 559 of the National Defense Authorization Act of FY2016 which requires that credentials paid for by the military are accredited by a third-party accrediting agency, such as ANSI. CCO certification programs have been accredited since 1998.
NCCCO has a long history of assisting serving military personnel in their certification efforts, as well as veterans transitioning back to civilian life. As a founding member of the Coalition for Professional Certification (CPC) in the late ’90s, NCCCO successfully pressured Congress to expand the Montgomery G.I. Bill to cover the reimbursement of certification fees.
Since then, NCCCO has received continuous approval from the VA for providing Certified Crane Operator Examinations to veterans as specified under Section 122 of the Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-419). This law provides for reimbursement of fees for licensing or certification tests, the successful completion of which demonstrates an individual’s possession of the knowledge or skill required to enter into, maintain, or advance in employment in a predetermined and identified vocation or profession.