Helmets to Hardhats celebrating 10th anniversary with planned gala

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Ontario Construction Report staff writer

Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Canada with a gala event on May 5, 2022, a significant milestone for the growing organization.

“Thank you for your continued support and respect for our women and men in uniform both past and present,” executive director Joe Maloney said.

Moving from military service to a civilian career can be a daunting experience that means starting over and Helmets to Hardhats helps make the transition as smooth as possible for Canadian veterans.

With funding from the construction industry, the Ottawa-based organization helps veterans access apprenticeship programs and find careers in the construction and maintenance industry.

H2H Canada is a registered not for profit organization providing opportunities in the construction and related industries for serving, transitioning and former military, spouses, dependents, reservists and senior cadets. Helmets to Hardhats is the leading construction industry gateway for the men and women who have served in Canada’s military.

There were 46 new registrants across the country in September, including 21 in Ontario. Six veterans started their trades careers in September and that brings the total placements in Canada over the past 10 years to 1,125.

H2H is recognized as a leading service provider by Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans Affairs Canada, and Canada’s 14 Building Trade Unions and their employers, along with leading industry Business Owners.

Tom says H2H helped him find a great civilian career as a training coordinator in the trades. His new employer values the skill set and background coming from a career as an Armoured Officer in the Reg Force.

“The employers in the H2H program value the work ethic and drive of our military personnel and have built relationships with former and serving forces members,” he said.

“While preparing for a civilian career has been a challenging path that required long hours of hard work and networking, the H2H program was able to give me the boost that I needed and helped to link me up with the right people to land a great career in the civilian sector. I now work with apprentices in the trades and look forward to using my new position to help interested military personnel with their own transitions as part of this great network.”

Joe Maloney
Joe Maloney

September was another busy month for H2H Executive director Joe Maloney, who held several meetings with industry groups and building trade unions.

“As you can see, H2H has referred 33 veterans to various unions and employers this month and so far six have reported back that they were successfully placed,” he said.  “Again, we would like to remind everyone that when you take a veteran into your apprenticeship system or hire them directly within your company, please report back and let us know.”

Along with continuing to place a growing number of veterans in careers, Maloney has announced an expansion for H2H, so that any Afghan interpreters who come to Canada are included.

“Once established in Canada, and if they are interested in opportunities in the construction industry, we will do our best to accommodate them.  The support and assistance they gave our troops was amazing, so offering them the best opportunities in the Canadian construction industry is just the right thing to do,” he said.

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