Our clients have a lot of great advice
The following stories were shared by veterans who found new careers through the Helmets to Hardhats program.
Do you have a success story to share? If so, email: email@example.com.
"To introduce myself, I have been employed through the Teamster Union 855 for the past three years working on the HEBRON project, through the Helmets to Hardhats program. Prior to that, I served faithfully for 34 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. I’ve been deployed to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Boyd C.
"After almost 12 years on the gun line, long nights in the coordination centres, and even longer months away from home. My family and I needed a change.
H2H Canada assisted in finding an amazing career as a Steamfitter-Pipefitter with UA Local 488 and I appreciate being a recipient of the St Eloi Scholarship award. Their continued support throughout my apprenticeship lets my employer know that selecting a former member of the Canadian Forces to get the job done benefits them with a well trained tradesperson, and contributes to their overall success on the project. "
- Andrew W.
"I am very grateful for receiving the St Eloi Scholarship. The UA and H2H has been a huge support for me in this career change, and I am very happy to see the industry's respect and support for veterans and reservists. The Sprinkler Apprenticeship is a well designed program and I am learning something new everyday. I also take pride in knowing that the system I helped install may save lives in the event of a fire. Thank you all again for supporting me."
- David L.
" I would like to thank everyone from the H2H community for their gracious help and support. This is one organization that I can say truly works. A fellow CF friend of mine recommended H2H to me after he applied and was successful at getting in to one of the most sought after apprenticeship programs in Ontario. Once I contacted H2H they were very quick at gettting me information regarding local apprenticeship intakes. Within a month of applying I was offered an apptenticeship. With H2H help and guidance I am now a Steamfitter apprentice at U.A. Local 401.
I would recommend this program to any individual in the CF who is considering transitioning to a civilian career. Thank you H2H "
" I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to you and Helmets to Hardhats a such a noble organization. I can’t thank you guys enough. "
" Thanks to you guys at H2H I have made a smooth transition operating a Grader with North American Construction. I'm very impressed with how fast transition happened. I was working within weeks of applying, I should have signed up with Helmets to Hardhats sooner. "
" I have had the pleasure of hiring and working with a few
- Mark Winikoff
" I would like to thank Mike and his team for the transition from military to a trade. We all know it is hard enough leaving the military and trying to find a right fit and work place. I have just recently joined local 67 plumbing and pipefitter in Hamilton Ontario and it's the first time since I have retired from the military that I feel like I belong. I would recommend helmets to hard hats for any military personnel who is leaving the military. The union is a brother hood very close to the one we all know in the military. Once again thanks very much and I look forward to my new career."
- Vince C
" The Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) program helped me to find a great civilian career as a training coordinator in the trades. My new employer values my 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. 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."
- Tom B
" I was recently hired by the OIFSC through an H2H opportunity. I would like to thank everyone in the program who makes these opportunities possible and vouches for military personnel. It quickly became apparent in the first interview that someone in your organization had personally handed the director of the OIFSC my resume and given a recommendation. Please feel free to use my example as a positive testimonial for the program. Equally, please feel free to contact me to help promote the program, as I will be doing so to my peers within the Reg and PRes forces. Thanks again very much from my wife and I and have a great day. "
" Hello, my name is Alec F. Before joining H2H I was a member of the 31 CER. H2H helped me to find a new career as a heavy equipment apprentice with local 793. They made it all very easy for me, all I had to do was to register, then tell them my interests in the trades world. Within 3 months of checking in online I had found a job in the trade that I wanted. This program is great for someone who is looking to have a civilian job and still stay in military as a reservist. I couldnt be any happier with the help I received and would recommend this program to all CF members who are interested. "
- Alex F
" The boilermakers have been accepting H2H for a while now. I’m a pre apprentice instructor & I can say it's an honour & a privilege to help out anyone who has served our Country. As a matter of fact. Last class there were 2 H2H Students & they were stellar; completed our course with flying colours. Keep on sending them our way. All boilermaker unions across Canada are endorsing the H2H Program. "
- Ward Wagner
" I would like to thank Helmets to Hardhats for playing a vital roll in my entry to the construction industry. Within just a few days of having contacted H2H, I was immediately placed into a competitive apprenticeship program with one of the most sought after unions in the GTA. My training in the program has helped me build strong trade skills as well as the knowledge and confidence to succeed in the field of construction. "
- Michele L
"Our members who are veterans, have had great success on our projects due to the soft skills they bring with them. Their work ethic and understanding of why an order is given and why it needs to be followed, sets them above most tradesmen on the worksite. These soft skills are valued by our contractors, as they enable the contractor to reach productivity levels and production goals ahead of schedule."
- Chester Fergusson
" I would just like to thank H2H for
find a new career with Local 853 Sprinkler Fitters of Ontario. The
process to getting in was pretty, simple with a little patience, and
after completing my orientation and working at heights training, I was
out on a work site within a week. I can honestly say I was completely
unaware of sprinkler and fire protection as a career option and it was
all thanks to H2H and Local 853 for being supportive of them. After a
few years of unsuccessful searching for a new career before H2H's
support, it is extremely refreshing to find an employer who understands
the benefits of hiring a previous members of the Canadian Armed Forces.
of 2013 I attended a scan seminar at CFB Edmonton and Helmet to
Hardhats gave a presentation on what services they can provide for
vets. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try so I signed up. It
wasn’t long after I retired in 2014, I got a phone call from
TransCanada Pipeline HR and asked if would be interested coming in for
an interview. Working for TransCanada Corporation has been amazing
experience. I have had an opportunity to receive mentoring and
training to acquire new skills. I can’t say enough about how
great the support is with TransCanada
Pipeline. I have been fortunate to have enjoyed two great
careers both with DND and now with TransCanada Corporation!
"I am a serving reservist soldier and I used the Helmets 2 Hardhats program to acquire an apprenticeship in plumbing. The H2H crew couldn't have been more helpful. Getting into a union is very difficult, but within two months I had a date for my orientation into the plumbers union. I believe any soldier or veteran having a difficult time finding a job in construction should use this outstanding program. Thank you so much for the help H2H."
|" When Nicole
applied for a Sheet Metal Worker
apprenticeship, little did we know how fortunate we were. The
Apprenticeship Committee told me after interviewing her that not only
was she the most prepared and by far the best applicant ever
interviewed, she scored the highest on our aptitude test! She is now
well underway in her apprenticeship at Industrial Metal Fabricators.
Nicole helped out at the Women in Construction Booth at this year’s Future Build and received many accolades from the people she worked with there. I personally have never met anyone as pleasant and respectful as Nicole, I know that she will be an asset to our Union and am proud to have registered with the Helmets to Hardhats Program. I’d recommend others to consider accepting Vets from the H2H program – you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll be helping those who’ve done their duty for Canada! "
- Mike Mahon
S.M.W.I.A Local 235
"As a former Electrical & Mechanical Engineering officer in the midst of completing a Masters of Engineering Management degree, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that H2H was able to help me, as I thought the program was only for opportunities in the skilled trades. In fact, Greg quickly introduced me to several promising companies and key HR folks involved with hiring. His calm, reassuring manner as well as his contacts & suggestions resulted in me getting an excellent position as a Project Engineer with TransCanada Corporation. Having not had much luck on my own despite sending out many applications, it was a great relief to have this level of support. Thanks!!! "
completing the 24 hour seminar and test, I am now eligible for
employment within the elevator union.
I would not have had access to such a promising career in this field if
it weren't for you and your organization. I hope I can continue down
this path and one day "pay it forward" the big helping hand you've
given me. "
"Just wanted to say thank you for getting me onto the elevator safety course.The instructors seemed to hold all of the military guys from the helmets to hardhats program in high regard and commented on how they enjoyed working with us as apprentices because we show up on time, and do the job with no complaints. "
- - James
"I would like to thank you for the
opportunity that you have provided me with. The class that I attended
consisted of 89 people. Four of those attendants were from Helmets to
Hardhats, a few were from a program called "hammerheads" and the rest
were comprised of the individuals that had attended the IUEC Local 50
in January 2014. The individuals that had attended the union local in
January were lined up at the local from as early as 02:00HRS and
approximately 900 people had attended in hopes of gaining the
opportunity that I had gained through Helmets to Hardhats. Those 900
people had to attend and be interviewed. So needless to say, for
someone like me to have been contacted to give me the heads up for this
seminar, provide me with information and simply request a resume and
cover letter, Helmets to Hardhats really made a difference.
"I sent the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association an e-mail with a cover letter and resume, and explained that I was In the Helmets to Hardhats program and that I am in the military. A couple hours later I got a call and they offered me a job to start on Monday. I have workplace safety training this weekend before I start. Best part about it is that it is right here in Windsor so I don't have to move. I just wanted to inform you because you have helped me out so much through the process and I really appreciate it. Thanks again "
"Thanks again to Mike and Marie and the
rest of your team for all your hard work giving me this great
opportunity to try a new avenue in life I am extremely grateful. The
H2H program is definitely helping veterans and not just paying lip
service. I am very optimistic that others like me will have a smooth
transition from army to civilian life and available means of employment
when they leave the army all thanks to the H2H program so on my behalf
you have my deepest gratitude.
"We recently accepted a military vet into an electrical apprenticeship,through the Helmets to Hardhats Canada program. I was impressed with this vet's enthusiasm and determination during the qualification process, as well as the manner in which he quickly adapted to the subsequent Level 1 Safety training. He is now dispatched to a new healthcare centre as a first year electrical apprentice, and is very excited about his new career. We are very proud to have been part of this special endeavour, and we fully intend to continue supporting this wonderful program. Congratulations on your efforts!!"
I left the CF, I more or less felt lost. I was told that I should try
to get into the trades. I looked around at the job ads and i found an
ad for the UA. I went to the UA local 488 hall and filled out an
application. One of the questions on the application was "have you
served in the armed forces?" when i checked that box the whole world of
the building trades was opened up to me. I soon after received a phone
call from one of the Business Agents named Kevin Morin.
"I was nearing my release date in April 2014 and I was looking to get into a good paying trade, where I could potentially apply some of the skills I learned while working on CF-18 aircraft as an air weapons tech. I stumbled upon helmets to hardhats and immediately applied to jobs that I thought would be well suited. I was contacted by UA Local 663 Business manager and was offered a job. I spoke to him on the phone and told me to call him back when I was closer to my release date. I called him within a week of my release and he told me that if I showed up on Monday there would be work for me after I had completed some of the mandatory paid training needed to work in the chemical valley in Sarnia. I got there on the monday and was taking my paid training on the wednesday and by the wednesday the next week I was working. This program has been fantastic in linking up veterans with good unionized jobs, and I had a chance to work with several other H2H veterans in Chemical Valley. I hope that this program will continue to support veterans as they transition in to the civilian work place for years to come, as it has been so supportive."-Liam
"Over the past months we've had the pleasure of accepting six (6) of the H2H vets in our Local. We were particularly impressed at how quickly they stood out for their professionalism, focus and determination during the applicant process. More importantly, our contractors have expressed a high level of satisfaction with the work ethic of our vets in the workplace. We now have three (3) more candidates that just went through our new intake and are looking forward to starting these new apprentices within the next couple of months. It's rewarding to be part of such a winning program, knowing that it can really make a difference for our vets as they transition into a new career and their presence in our brotherhood only makes our union stronger."Michael Reid
-Local 71 Ottawa
"The veterans that have come to us through the Helmets to Hardhats program have been eager, motivated and focused. Their military training has made them first class candidates and taking them into membership is not only good for our organization and our industry, it's the right thing to do."Larry Matychuk
UA Local 488 Edmonton
“For any program to work there has to be total commitment
three partners. The apprentice, the Union and most importantly the
Contractor. My experience with the Helmets to Hardhats program is that
it is positively worthwhile. I personally believe our veterans deserve
respect. The sole nature and purpose of any union organization to
promote fraternal order. When these young men are brought into our
organization, they are given a standing ovation.
UA Local 663, Sarnia, ON
|"I finally got a
call from the elevator union.
I am making a good salary and I am really enjoying my new career. I
just wanted to thank you guys for all the help along the way and let
you know I think you guys have a great program going here and I hope
you can place more people into the workforce."
|"When I was
medically released from the Military I was in the midst of what seemed
like a career which would take me right through to the retirement age
of 60. Therefore, I had never considered any other type of career path
or employment, and I was certainly at a loss as to how I could continue
to provide for my family. Fortunately, during the early stages of my
search for a new career, I happened upon Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) and
its Executive Director Mr. Greg Matte.
Initially, I called Greg’s office with the presumption that H2H was meant to offer positions solely within the trades and that I would not find anything suited to my most recent training as a project manager. However, after speaking with Greg and outlining my desire to move into such a position within the Oil and Energy industry, I felt extremely confident that the H2H group would be helpful in pointing me in the right direction. Within a matter of a few weeks I was contacted by Greg and he gave me the names of several important connections within the industry, and he told me that he had spoken with them and that those people were interested in hiring an ex-Military member such as me. I made the calls to those contacts and within a matter of days I was given the offer to work as a member of the planning team for a group in the Alberta Oil Sands.
Ultimately, I believe that Greg went far beyond what most job search units would have done and that allowed me to garner some fantastic employment opportunities. Clearly, for those of us who are seeking post-service employment within both the trades and managerial positions, having H2H on our side makes our chances of finding viable employment much greater."
"My hat goes off to you, you really helped
me out. I had an interview today with UA Local 71 and I was accepted for
an apprenticeship position as a plumber
starting Aug 4th. They were very up front about being on board
with Helmets to Hardhats, and more or less said,"We want you, let us
know when you're available." I will be picking up my letter of
offer on Monday.
"Everything is going well. The whole process from applying online to being accepted in a position with the union was pretty straight forward. I appreciate the opportunity H2H has given me to transition into a new career. My previous military background has allowed me to hit the ground running and pick up new skills easily. I would recommend the Sprinkler and Fire Protection trade and Local 853 for any veteran. I received my safety training through the union and was to work the next day. "
Collins C.D. (Ret'd) served in the Canadian Military from 1994 to 2007.
Cpl. Collins says "I was a Vehicle Technician (Mechanic) in the Army. I
served in Borden Ontario, with 1 Service Battalion in Edmonton Alberta
and then with Canadian Forces Joint Signals Regiment in Kingston
Ontario. I also served overseas in Bosnia Herzegovina in 2003 during Op
Palladium and also was part of the first tour in Kandahar Afghanistan
in 2005 as part of the Theatre Activation Team for Op Archer. I
travelled all over our country with the Army including Winnipeg during
the Red river floods of 1997 and also to Quebec to help during the Ice
storm in 1998." Cpl. Collins also received Commanding Officers
Commendations for his efforts and assistance in getting Vehicle Techs
accreditation as Red Seal Mechanics in 2004.
“I found out about the H2H program through a Boilermaker friend (Mike Bouffard) that referred me to the Burlington (ON) hall. He had heard about Joseph Maloney's efforts in getting the program running and thought I would be a good fit. After that is when I joined the U.S. H2H site”, said Collins. In 2007, after learning more about the Boilermaker trade, Ted joined Boilermaker Lodge 128 (Burlington, ON) and started his Boilermaker apprenticeship (February 2008). After receiving training in safety, rigging, fitting and some welding, he applied his new skills at the refineries and nuclear plants in Ontario. After successfully completing his apprenticeship in three and half years, he received his Boilermaker Red Seal. Today, he is working in the Nuclear Power Industry on Divider Plate Hardware Replacement and is currently employed as a Trainer/Sub-Foreman for Boiler Divider Plate refurbishment in Pickering.
Of his experience transitioning from the military to being a Boilermaker, Cpl. Collins says "I was fortunate enough to enter this trade through the Helmets to Hardhats program. I served the Canadian Forces from 1994 to 2007. A week later I became a Boilermaker. I have now begun my travels as a Boilermaker as I have taken jobs in Sarnia, Toronto, Pickering, and Kincardine. I look forward to continue my travels and learn new trade skills with the Boilermakers."
- Ted Collins
|First of all a
huge thank you, I'm shocked. My experience with Helmets to Hardhats was
great. I walked into UA 179 on
a Friday afternoon. They told me I start on Monday. I've been fortunate
and have been working with the same company for about 15 months now.
The guys I work with are great, and I enjoy my job. This scholarship will be a huge help when
it's time for me to go to school. Thank you again!
Hardhats provided me with a great opportunity. I can't thank the team
enough for what they have done. I am now a full year in to my plumbing
apprenticeship and I cant believe it has gone by this fast. I am
extremely honoured to have received the J. Russell St.Eloi UA Scholarship from such a meaningful
program. It is because of H2H that I am a proud Local 46 member and
enjoying my time learning the trade.
"Teamsters Local 879 has hired me through the H2H's program. The pay and benefits are truly amazing to say the least.Please accept my gratitude for all your efforts. I look forward to this career and your program made this happen quickly."- Auburn
|"August 2012 I
received my copy of Salute. The article on Helmets to Hardhats got my
attention - since I was in my first year welding in college, and I was
anxious to get started in a new career. I thought it couldn’t hurt my
prospect for employment if I gave them a call. Just to let you know, I
am closer to retirement age than I am just starting out with my whole
life ahead of me. Meanwhile living in the Maritimes where there is
limited work and if work comes along it is seasonal. Also I knew
employers prefer to hire younger workers – it was going to be a
struggle to obtain employment in the Maritimes as a welder. I had over
100 resumes sent out to potential employers across Canada, and only
received one call back. I informed those employers that I was willing
to relocate, and I had experience galore working in the construction
trade, and building environment. That is why the Helmets to Hardhats
program got my attention and calling and speaking with Greg Matte was
one of the best things I ever did.
Greg immediately sent me an e-mail listing of available trades which I could choose from (there were a lot). However, I stuck to my chosen career and picked welder. Greg got back to me within days and informed me of a potential employer in Alberta. I sent my resume and within a week I had a welder apprenticeship position within a major company in Alberta. By the first week of September I had moved from my home in the Maritimes to Alberta. Luckily my wife and I were in the position to relocate. My wife stayed behind and put the home up for sale, arranged for a moving company and joined me in Alberta in October. We have not looked back.
I encourage all veterans to reap the benefits of this tremendous program. Greg Matte was more than helpful, and truly went out of his way to get me started on my new life and career. I cannot express how easy it was, and how quickly the process moved along. I am currently in my first year of as a welder apprentice and the pay is great, and I was also indoctrinated into the local Union recently (even more of a benefit). Everyone involved from the military to the people within the Union and company have been more than helpful and encouraging.
Take the leap and contact Helmets to Hardhats. You will not regret it.
|"My name is
Tyler, and I would like to share with you my experience with the H2H
program. After contacting Greg Matte to learn more about H2H, I was
placed in contact with a rep with the UA
Union (Local 488) in Edmonton. The rep (Bill Johnston - a vet
himself) was simply amazing for all his help, and also understood the
challenges I was experiencing with my transition out of the CF into the
civilian workforce. He was really informative, truly looked after me,
and found me a position with the pipe
fitter trade...all in record time! My release from the CF was on
14 April, and I was able to commence work the very next day. If it was
not for all the support that I received from Bill and Greg, I would
probably still be looking for work. Instead, I now have a great
opportunity to move forward in this trade to make an excellent new
career!! I would like to thank these guys and the members of Local 488
for giving me this opportunity. It is a great feeling to know that
there are people like them out there who care enough to give someone
like me such amazing support during such a stressful period of change.
Thanks ever so much from my family and I. It would be my pleasure to
now help other vets if I can."
|My name is Nik
and I recently got out of the CF. I applied to Helmets to
Hardhats in order to help me join a local union for work. I was approved in very quick time
and the union was able to get my information very fast and expedite my
application because of this. Helmets to Hardhats has helped me out at a
time when I needed it the most and I am very glad such a program
exists. Every veteran getting out of the CF should apply to them
immediately! " -