Union contractor McGough recognized for outreach to military families

Veterans and their families who work at McGough join Gov. Mark Dayton during the Yellow Ribbon Company proclamation ceremony.

Veterans and their families who work at McGough join Gov. Mark Dayton during the Yellow Ribbon Company proclamation ceremony in White Bear Lake.

Minnesota’s construction industry has its first Yellow Ribbon Company, and it’s a union contractor headquartered in St. Paul.

In a ceremony yesterday at McGough’s warehouse in White Bear Lake, Gov. Mark Dayton delivered a proclamation making the general contracting firm part of a select group of employers recognized for their exemplary support of Minnesota’s active military members, veterans and their families.

“The men and women of the Minnesota National Guard, other U.S. Forces and their families have earned our admiration and appreciation,” Dayton said. “They have also earned our continuing assistance. I thank McGough for joining nearly 300 Yellow Ribbon cities, counties and businesses who have committed to support our Minnesota heroes when they return home.”

Tim McGough, the company’s executive vice president, said it was humbling to be recognized by the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program.

“Whatever small thing we can do as a firm for our service members doesn’t begin to scratch the surface when you consider the immeasurable sacrifice they have made for our country,” McGough said.

Forty companies statewide have achieved the Yellow Ribbon designation, which recognizes companies’ past accomplishments and ongoing efforts in support of military families. To be considered, McGough presented the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program with a detailed action plan for outreach to veterans seeking jobs, as well as support for service members and their families during deployment.

Veterans in the crowd are recognized during the Yellow Ribbon Company proclamation ceremony.

Veterans in the crowd are recognized during the Yellow Ribbon Company proclamation ceremony.

McGough Chief Operating Officer Brad Wood said 10 percent of the company’s employees are veterans.

One of them, Lt. Col. Bill Scherling of the Minnesota National Guard, emceed the proclamation ceremony. Scherling was deployed to the Middle East twice in the last five years. McGough employees, Wood said, mailed care packages to Scherling and offered support to his family in Minnesota, cooking meals and helping with chores around the house.

It’s one example of why the State of Minnesota recognized McGough as a Yellow Ribbon Company. But hiring and supporting veterans like Scherling is not just the right thing to do, Wood said. It’s good for the company, too.

“Veterans bring rich skills and valuable real-world experience to the job,” Wood said. “They have a good work ethic, they are committed and they are great leaders.”

Many veterans working at McGough transitioned into civilian careers by entering apprenticeship programs offered by Building Trades unions, Minnesota National Guard Gen. Richard Nash said.

“I know this company well, and they truly value their employees,” Nash said. “They are veterans, and they are union craftsmen and craftswomen.”

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