The construction industry will hire 100,000 U.S. military veterans over the next five years, officials said Feb. 10 at a Washington, D.C., conference.

First Lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez made the announcement at the Veterans Employment in Construction symposium.

“All men and women who have sacrificed for our country in our armed services deserve opportunities for good jobs worthy of their character and their achievements,” Perez said. “The Department of Labor will do whatever it takes to help our veterans translate their skills and leadership into jobs, and I am inspired by the commitment displayed today by the construction industry and all our partners in helping to achieve that mission.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that construction is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy, with an estimated 1.5 million jobs predicted to be created by 2022.

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Obama wrote that the construction companies’ move was not about charity.

“They made this commitment not just because it’s the patriotic thing to do, and not just because they want to repay our veterans for their service to our country, but because they know that it’s the smart thing to do for their business,” she wrote.