Recent Media

Canadian military veteran praises H2H efforts for enduring pandemic challenges

Sean Massinen, who had 14 years of experience in the military, wanted to launch a new career in carpentry and start thinking about planning a family one day. Helmets to Hardhats Canada helped place the veteran in a trade apprenticeship in Ontario..
Sean Massinen, who had 14 years of experience in the military, wanted to launch a new career in carpentry and start thinking about planning a family one day. Helmets to Hardhats Canada helped place the veteran in a trade apprenticeship in Ontario.

The pandemic has “slowed” the drive by Helmets to Hardhats Canada (H2H) to place Canadian Armed Forces veterans in unionized construction trades, but H2H still managed to refer 30 veterans for possible placement in trade apprenticeships across Canada in February.

Five veterans started placements that month, one of them in B.C. and four in Ontario.

Among those vets was Sean Massinen who had 14 years of experience in the military but wanted to launch a new career and start thinking about planning a family one day.

Joe Maloney, national executive director of H2H, says the pandemic put a stop to a number of H2H duties including its cross-country information seminars on the program. “We had to rely on word of mouth and social media campaigns.”

He says as the weather warms and construction ramps up, H2H organizers expect to see a lot more veteran placements in trade positions.

To read the rest of the story, click here


Fanshawe’s military-connected students to benefit from new partnership with Helmets to Hardhats

(London, Ontario) – Fanshawe College is proud to announce a new partnership with Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) that will provide the College’s military-connected students with pathways into Canada’s skilled trade industry. H2H is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to assisting veterans who are transitioning from military service into well-paid, highly-skilled second careers in construction and related industries.

As a military-connected College, Fanshawe and H2H will work together to support our veterans, reservists and cadets by providing valuable job opportunities to help rebuild Ontario’s economy through the skilled trades and apprenticeship sectors. H2H has strategic partnerships with national trade unions, providing additional networking opportunities for Fanshawe military-connected students upon graduation.

Fanshawe is the first College in Canada to partner with Helmets to Hardhats. Military-connected graduates will have the opportunity to use the services of H2H to seek skilled trades jobs across Canada.

“Fanshawe College is excited to collaborate with Helmets to Hardhats to create employment opportunities for our military-connected students who will graduate ready to contribute to the economic recovery of their community,” says Darlene O’Neill, Director, Employment and Student Entrepreneurial Services, Fanshawe College.

“Helmets to Hardhats looks forward to supporting military veterans, reservists and cadets, supporting the economy and growing the skilled construction trades with military-connected students through our partnership with Fanshawe College,” says Joseph Maloney, Executive Director, Helmets to Hardhats.

This partnership expands Fanshawe’s network of viable employers for our students and will help employers find the best job candidates.

More info here Fanshawe's Military-connected campus


United Association Local 663 hires Veterans

A local union that’s part of a movement to help military veterans successfully transition into civilian life, is urging other local building trades to join the effort.

Local 663, representing plumbers, steamfitters and welders, is one of several in Canada’s construction industry backing Helmets to Hard Hats, a program that helps veterans find work in the trades.

Ross Tius, business manger for Local 663, said it has already approved six candidates from the program for entry into the union, and he’s challenging other building trades to do the same. “Given the sacrifice they’ve gone through, we owe them some form of respect and allegiance,” Tius said. “I think it’s the right thing to do.” More info here about UA 663


Millwrights Local 2309 design entry program specifically for Veterans

Fantastic news!!! Millwrights 2309 Toronto have designed a 4 week trg specifically for Veterans ! UBC Millwright Local 2309’s Veterans Program (MVP) is a free 4 week training program specially designed for veterans who want to embark on a new career offering exceptional pay and benefits. More info about Local 2309


Holiday Message from Helmets to Hardhats


Latest Veteran graduates of Electrical Training

Congratulations to new members of the #skilledtrades Drew (Andrew) Semper and Ryan Pasuta, recent graduates of the PACT Program through the Electrical Industry Trg Centre IBEW 424! They start on site this week, share and welcome them to the #tradeunion family!

The Electrical Industry Training Centres of Alberta is an initiative of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 424 and the Electrical Contractors Association of Alberta (ECAA).

Check out their website for more info about the training centre.


Veterans Walk Fundraiser

Congratulations and gratitude to Veterans Glen Coyle and Christian Bagley, both former RCR and representing Canada House, on their latest fundraising campaign in support of Helmets to Hardhats! Presentation with Normand Trépanier (H2H) at Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto during Remembrance Week 2020. The two former soldiers walked 150 km to raise $$$ to support soldiers transitioning to careers in the building trades through Helmets to Hardhats.

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Ontario Helping Veterans Find New Careers

The Ontario government is investing $511,100 in the Pathways to Post-Military Employment program to support the return of 180 military veterans and reservists to civilian life. This program, administered by non-profit organization Helmets to Hardhats Canada, will help veterans draw upon their unique skills and experience and connect them with good jobs in the construction industry.

Details were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, and Rod Phillips, Minister of Finance, at Interior Finishing Systems Training Centre in Woodbridge.

“During Remembrance Week, we pause to salute the men and women in uniform who left their families to defend our country and protect the values we hold dear," said Premier Ford. "Today, many veterans are struggling as they leave active service and transition back into civilian life. Now is the time to help them train for new well-paying and rewarding second careers and give them a chance to contribute to Ontario's economic recovery.”

Pathways to Post-Military Employment will offer job matching with employers in the construction sector, provide formal skills evaluations and support on-the-job training. This program will provide opportunities for veterans and reservists in several fields, including skilled trades, management, administration, planning, scheduling, logistics, security, engineering, and accounting.

Read the full News Release here.


OCS donates $100,000 to help provide opportunities in the trades for veterans.

On behalf of building trade construction unions and contractor partners, the Ontario Construction Secretariat donated $100,000 to assist Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) aid in streamlining the pathways to apprenticeships, advanced training and career placement opportunities in the construction industry for the men and women who have served our country. Helmets to Hardhats is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting veterans who are transitioning from military service, and active reservists, into second careers in the skilled trades.

“Veterans, reservists and senior cadets are an invaluable asset to the skilled trades and we are delighted to be able to donate $100,000 on behalf of building trade construction unions and their contractor partners working in the industrial, commercial, and institutional sector,” Joe Keyes, OCS President of the Board of Directors, says. “The Helmets to Hardhats organization is providing opportunities to military men and women who served Canada with distinction as they transition to civilian life,” he continues.

Brent Dewell, Carpenters Local 27, is just one example of how H2H has helped our veterans. Mr. Dewell is a Field Engineer in the Canadian Military and has always been interested in carpentry but never knew how to approach it. He decided to call a union representative from Local 27, who was also a veteran, and explained to him how his skills would transfer into the trades. Mr. Dewell was quickly put in touch with H2H and has been working as a carpentry apprentice, since April, with a schedule that allows him time to spend with his family and make a great income.

Read the full news release here.


H2H partners with VETS Canada to help homeless Veterans

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Helmets to Hardhats is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with Veterans Emergency Transition Services (VETS Canada) that will result in improved conditions for at risk and homeless Veterans.  H2H will work with Veterans identified by VETS Canada to facilitate opportunities to transition into well-paid, highly skilled careers in the construction and related industries.

“H2H is looking forward to this very positive partnership with the intent of helping some very worthy people, added Joe Maloney, National Executive Director of Helmets to Hardhats Canada. “We want to make sure that any and all Veterans are aware of what is available through Helmets to Hardhats and no Veteran is left behind.”

Helmets to Hardhats Canada is a registered not for profit organization providing opportunities in the building trades for serving, transitioning and former military.

VETS Canada, a national charity and service provider of Veterans Affairs Canada, is the largest 24/7 Canadian organization dedicated to addressing the emergency needs of homeless and in-crisis Veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP.


H2H Director interview with Andrew Krystal, SiriusXM Talk 167

Listen as Joe Maloney, Executive Director, Helmets to Hardhats, and Mike Yorke, President, Carpenters District Council of Ontario, are interviewed by Andrew Krystal about the homeless Veteran crisis and the immediate response and support from H2H and the trade unions, and the difficulties of supporting Veterans with a small, but dedicated staff of Veterans.

You can listen to the interview here


Letter from Homeless Shelter Director supporting Veterans

“Good Shepherd Ministries has been providing housing help and case management for homeless Veterans for the past 10 years,” say Br. David Lynch, Executive Director. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to expand those services. Now, not only can we offer a warm bed, hot meals and housing, but in partnership with Helmets to Hardhats, we can assist Veterans in learning trade skills to get back into the workforce.

Homeless Veterans have served their country. It is our duty to ensure that they receive the services needed to assist them in gaining freedom from homelessness. It is our duty to offer them support and encouragement so they can live full and productive lives. Thanks to Helmets to Hardhats, this goal will be achievable.”

Regards,

Brother David Lynch, OH Executive Director, Good Shepherd Ministries

Visit the Good Shepherd Ministries site.


Reservist turned carpenter hands in the tools to help at LTC home

When carpenter and active military reservist Dimitrij Berdnikov was asked by the Canadian Armed Forces to volunteer in the military’s initiative Operation LASER to assist in a troubled long-term care home during the pandemic in the Greater Toronto Area, the 28-year-old was quick to sign up.

Berdnikov is a member of Carpenters’ Local 27 in Toronto.

In 2016, after four years in the military reserves, he was looking at career options and the building trades was on his list.

Through the Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) program, he met carpenter Mike Humphries, a Local 27 business representative and its liaison to the H2H.

“I didn’t know anything about carpentry at the time but thought I’d give it a try and I have liked it ever since,” says Berdnikov.

You can read the full article from the Daily Commercial News


Important Message from Helmets to Hardhats

Hi Everyone,

What an adventure we are all living since March 14. I would like to thank you for following the public health guidelines in your province. Although we are confined to our home, I would like to inform you that Helmets to Hardhats remains in operation and continues to take your registrations. As soon as the construction industries will resume we want you to be in the front row for taking advantages of the benefits that Helmets to Hardhats offers to their members. We are proud to have more than 6,900 registered members and to have placed more than 1,100 members with the Canadian building trade industry.

We are waiting for you.
Your Helmets to Hardhats’ team.


Letter from Helmets to Hardhats to The National Post

"Skilled labour isn’t cheap, and cheap labour isn’t skilled"

Letters to the Editor
The National Post
365 Bloor St. East, 3rd Floor Toronto, Ontario M4W 3L4
To the Editor:
Re: “Let the markets handle the skilled-trades labour shortage” (Jan. 24) I must take issue with the author’s criticism of the Ontario government’s active promotion of skilled trades apprenticeships for young people. We are indeed facing a shortage of skilled tradespeople, as baby boomers — well trained and well paid — are retiring from industry. Leaving aside Mr Lau’s inapt and cynical comparison of skilled workers to oranges and pears, it seems he would “just...let the markets work,” and have them replaced by unapprenticed, semi-skilled, low-paid workers, in another example of the “race to the bottom” in both skills and wages. My organization assists armed forces veterans in transitioning into the skilled trades. We have no intention of sending these people into inadequately trained jobs where they can be exploited by employers favouring cheap labour over fully qualified workers. Our veterans deserve a better future, and so do our youth. Labour Minister Monte McNaughton should be applauded for encouraging young people to enter the skilled trades through proper apprenticeships. Engaging skilled workers in industry requires regulation, certification, intensive training, and licensing. It requires a tripartite partnership of government, organized labour, and industry, for the sake of safety, quality, and fair compensation. Reaching out to youth, who may otherwise be unfamiliar with apprenticeship opportunities — and the “fruit”-ful jobs they promise — is a good move by this government. Skilled labour isn’t cheap, and cheap labour isn’t skilled.
Sincerely,
Joseph Maloney, M.S.C.
National Executive Director,
Helmets to Hardhats Canada

Pdf letter available here

Local 359 Visit

H2H Paul Bury, CD, tours the Boilermakers Local 359 welding shop in Langley, BC. Are you military, Veteran, Reservist looking to join top trade unions in Canada? Register today!

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Local 359 Visit

Helmets to Hardhats Normand T and Paul B meet with Local 359 Business Manager (middle) Jordan Streng. Boilermakers always ready to #supportourtroops with great careers!

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