Recent Media

Helmets to Hardhats and the Office to Advance Women Apprentices celebrate International Women’s Day by reaffirming their partnership to attract more females into the skilled trades


For Immediate Release: March 8, 2023- Ottawa

In recognition of International Women’s Day, Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) and the Office to Advance Women Apprentices (OAWA) are reaffirming their commitment to support women in service to find rewarding second careers in the skilled trades. Today, on International Women’s Day, we celebrates the achievements, contributions and sacrifices that women and girls have made around the globe to help shape the world we live in today, while reflecting on the work that stills needs to be done to advance gender equality.

Canada is up against a tight timeline to recruit, hire, train and retain skilled trades workers as the government predicts that 700,000 skilled trades workers are expected to retire by 2028. To counteract the ageing demographic of the workforce, the construction industry needs to recruit 309,000 new workers over the next decade. H2H and OAWA believe that Veterans are one under-utilized demographic that will be part of the solution to fill these critical labour shortages. The above groups’ combined efforts aim to develop a diverse and inclusive skilled trades workforce, including outreach directed toward female Veterans. It is an effort to keep building Canada, into a brighter and more inclusive future.

Statistics Canada states only five percent of skilled trades workers in Canada are women. The organizations H2H and OAWA are committed to spreading awareness among female Veterans about the rewards of a career in the skilled trades, such as - benefits and pension plans, financial stability, personal and professional growth opportunities and job stability.

Veterans Affairs Canada also supports these outreach initiatives with funding from the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund. To date, the targeted outreach efforts have welcomed 59 new individuals into the Helmets to Hardhats program. As of International Women’s Day 2023, H2H has reached 41% of their recruitment goal of women and gender-diverse individuals into the skilled trades. By March 2024, H2H aims to accomplish their goal of referring 150 participants to the skilled trades, therefore aiding in the successful transition, financial stability and increased visibility of underrepresented groups within the skilled trades.

Many new Helmets to Hardhats clients have connected to us through our partnership with OAWA. Including Diana Scott, a military Veteran who served as a Naval Signalman in the Royal Canadian Navy. She is now looking for work as an Industrial Mechanic – Millwright in Newfoundland and Labrador. Diana is 1 out of 22 women who have recently registered with Helmets to Hardhats to start a new career in the skilled trades. H2H and OAWA are hopeful that this partnership will lead to additional female Veterans joining the skilled trades.

H2H and the OAWA believe that all Canadians have a role to play in breaking down barriers and biases to ensure that all women, girls, and gender-diverse individuals have the chance to find success in the skilled trades. The work of H2H, OAWA and Canada’s 14 Building Trade Unions will pave the way for future generations of diverse skilled tradespeople.

View the original Release here

Helmets to Hardhats meets with Insulators local 137


Gary Young the Organizer of the Insulators local 137 here in St. John’s, NL.  HVAC are now housed in the NL Building Trade in St. John’s.  Cora Saunders Helmets to Hardhats Outreach Specialist Veteran Women and LGBTQ2+ and Darin King is the Executive Director of Building Trades NL. Want to become a mechanical Insulator? Read more here: Local 137 JATC

Helmets to Hardhats speaks before Parliamentary Committee for Veterans


H2H representatives Paul Bury and Norman Trépanier spoke before the Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs ( ACVA) about Veterans Employment after Service. Read more here: National Strategy for Veterans Employment After Service

Helmets to Hardhats conducts Safety Training in Thorold, ON


Photos of the safety trg this week in Thorold, Ontario. We had our first Cadet participate, seen here wearing the new H2H safety jacket.

Helmets to Hardhats attend Canadian Rangers Conference


Helmets to Hardhats at the Canadian Rangers Conference at Rigaud, Québec 12 Jan 2023 was well appreciated by attendees. H2H are thankful to the organizers and the work they do to protect Canada North.

Winter webinar: Concrete Wins Alberta #TalentTuesdays: Helmets to Hardhats


Join us for Concrete Wins Alberta #TalentTuesdays: Helmets to Hardhats presented by Paul Bury on January 24, 2023.

#TalentTuesdays is a winter webinar series on all things #Recruiting & #Retention ~ open to all cement, concrete, aggregate, masonry association members across Canada!

Major-General Paul Bury (retired) OMM CD, joined the Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) team after he transitioned to civilian life after 33 years of dedicated service in the Canadian Armed Forces. H2H is a non-profit organization providing opportunities in the unionized construction industry for serving, transitioning and former military members.      


Free Construction Safety Courses available in Richmond Hill, ON


Registered members taking the free course by H2H @H2HCanada in Richmond Hill this week, giving them all the right courses to start their second career in Ontario’s construction industry!

Free Construction Safety Courses available to Veterans


Helmets to hardhats is offering five courses AT NO COST at IHSA facilities across Ontario for the military community.

    To enroll:
  1. Register with Helmets to Hardhats
  2. Select a course, location, and date
  3. Email:
  4. Receive confirmation

H2H Receives Veterans Ombudsman Commendation


Today, Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) was awarded a 2022 Veterans Ombud Commendation. This award recognizes H2H for our significant contributions to the lives of Veterans across Canada. Although it is an honour to receive this award, H2H is committed to continuing our important initiative of supporting Veterans, Reservists, Cadets, military family members and Afghan interpreters in finding a meaningful second career in the unionized construction industry.

At H2H, we believe that because of the dedicated service of our Veterans, it is now our responsibility to provide our services to Veterans as they transition into civilian life. This is the mission that drives us, as we think about Veterans every day, all year long.

We would like to thank Construction Labour Relations An Alberta Association for the nomination and their continued support of H2H. We look forward to expanding on our initiatives and making a positive difference in the lives of Veterans.

News Release:

H2H launch Homeless Veteran outreach


Ontario Labour Minister Monte McNaughton met with @H2HCanada Alex Lolua & Joe Maloney to launch their new poster campaign informing homeless Veterans of opportunities H2H can offer. The skilledtrades are open to all military community.

New scholarship opportunity for Veterans interested in the Millwright trade

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Joe Maloney, Founder and Executive Director of Helmets to Hardhats, pictured with Mark Beardsworth, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Millwright Regional Council of Ontario, Patricia Penney-Rouzes, Executive Director, Association of Millwrighting Contractors of Ontario, Duncan McIntosh, Director of Operations, Millwright Regional Council of Ontario, Drew Chittenden, Business Manager – Local 2309 Toronto and Darryl Cathcart, Helmets to Hardhats and Release Point Education.

The unionized construction industry, employers, contractors, and the skilled trades are facing unprecedented challenges in finding and retaining the workers they need during this period of economic recovery and growth across Ontario. Helmets to Hardhats (H2H), the Millwright Regional Council of Ontario (MRCO) and the Association of Millwrighting Contractors of Ontario (AMCO) are partnering together to take action to address these shortages while supporting Veterans, Reservists, and Cadets.

Executive Director of H2H, Joe Maloney, along with Mark Beardsworth, MRCO Executive Secretary-Treasurer and Patricia Penney-Rouzes, Executive Director from AMCO are announcing a joint initiative to offer a tailored scholarship, the “Millwright Scholarship: Investing in our Future” to provide Veterans the opportunity to return to school to earn a certificate from a recognized Millwright program. This will allow the successful Veterans to gain knowledge and experience to enter the workforce and offer employers sustainable and hardworking employees.

With more than 8,000 Veterans and Reservists transitioning out of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) every year at the average age of 32, these individuals have long working careers ahead of them. Joining the unionized construction industry is an appealing option for many Veterans because of the competitive wages, benefits pension plans and training. Together, H2H, MRCO and AMCO are making it more accessible, efficient and streamlined for Veterans to learn the trade and fill Millwright opportunities across Ontario.

The Millwright scholarship will:

  • Support at least 5 Helmets to Hardhats clients who will select a one-year program from an Ontario College.
  • Be offered on a first come, first served basis, pending applicants must meet all the eligibility requirements
  • Reimburse the successful recipients for the semester’s tuition and program fees
  • Allow employers to hire and support Veterans to keep up with the growing demand for Millwrights across Ontario

This partnership emphasizes the importance of employing Veterans with meaningful second careers in the unionized construction industry. As a partnership, we strongly believe that it is now our responsibility to provide second career opportunities to Veterans after the service they have given us.

Please submit your application for the Millwright Scholarship: Investing in our Future, here:


“Veterans, Reservists, military family members and Afghan interpreters provide immense value on the unionized construction opportunities they join. They bring solid work ethic, consider safety a priority and will get the job done. Ontario needs to look at every option to harness the skills and workforce needed to fuel the provinces growth. By supporting transitioning Veterans into the unionized construction industry H2H, MRCO and AMCO are leading the way for Veterans to gain valuable experience in the Millwright trade to offer long term prosperity to the Veteran and the economy”

Joe Maloney, Founder and Executive Director of Helmets to Hardhats Canada

“We’re pleased to partner and strengthen our relationship with H2H and AMCO with our new collaborative millwright scholarship program that provides opportunities for military veterans throughout Ontario wanting to embark on a new career as a UBC Millwright. We’re delighted with the opportunity to work with our industry partners and lead the way in recruiting the next generation of millwright professionals”.

Mark Beardsworth, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Millwright Regional Council of Ontario

“We believe this to be a very beneficial partnership venture, bringing a variety of transferrable skill sets into the Millwright trade, while in turn, supporting our Veterans for the long haul.”

Patricia Penney-Rouzes, Executive Director, Association of Millwrighting Contractors of Ontario
For further information and media inquiries, please contact:

Aidan Strickland, Director of Communications for Helmets to Hardhats

The Millwright Regional Council of Ontario

Official News Release available here

H2H signs MOU with the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries


Today, Joe Maloney, Founder and Executive Director of Helmets to Hardhats Canada (H2H), and Bill Walker, President & CEO of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This MoU will promote and support hiring Canadian Veterans, transitioning military members, Reservists, Cadets, military family members, and Afghan interpreters into the Canadian nuclear industry and the nuclear supply chain. Under the MoU, both organizations recognize
Official News Release can be read here

H2H at Research Forum


Cora Saunders of H2H speaking to participant at the Cdn Institute for Military and Veteran Health Research Forum (CIMVHR) Halifax, NS.

H2H at opening of the new #LiUNA training centre


H2H was at the opening of the new #LiUNA training centre in Grimsby, Ontario preparing the way for skilled apprentices & opportunities for military Veterans, ensuring quality productivity & safety #1

H2H featured on Blue is the New White Podcast

Local 855

H2H’s Jamie McMillan talks with Josh Zolin from Blue is the New White! Find out how Jamie turned the Pandemic into life-changing community service, her determination to help others tell their stories and why Helmets to Hardhats is vital to so many Veterans.
Blue is the New White podcast

H2H at St. John's Pride Parade

Local 855

H2H Staffer Cora Saunders marched in the St. John’s Pride Parade this weekend and met lots of military members showing their pride! @STJPride #yytpride #stjohnspride #pride2022

H2H offers free Safety Training in Trenton from 3-7 Oct

Local 855

Only 2 weeks to save your spot! Ontario military & Veterans! #HelmetstoHardhats is offering free Safety Training in Trenton from 3-7 Oct. These provincially mandated courses must be completed before working at any construction site. Register at

H2H at Labour Day Parade Parade 2022

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H2H's Executive Director Joe Maloney and his grandson Mekhai proudly marched at the Sarnia Labour Day parade

H2H at Carpenter's Golf Tournament

Local 855

Normand Trepanier and Michael Humphries manning the Helmets to Hardhats’ booth during the Ontario Carpenters Council Golf Tournament day held in the beautiful Angus Glen Golf Course in Markham, ON.

H2H at Boilermaker Tripartite

Local 855

Helmets to Hardhats Team participating at the Boilermakers Tripartite Conference in St Andrew by the Sea New Brunswick.

H2H at Fredericton Pride Parade

Local 855

H2H's Dave Giannou & Cora Saunders enjoyed the festivities at the Fredericton Pride Parade in August!

H2H Executive Director Chosen 2022 Industry Award Winner

Local 855

Congratulations!!! to Helmets to Hardhats Executive Director, Joe Maloney, the 2022 recipient of the Industry Award from the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers!! Well done!

H2H at the Saskatchewan Building Trades Conference

Local 855

H2H is at the Saskatchewan Building Trades Conference, #Saskatoon @SKBldingTrades 27July. Come on over & find out how employers can hire a Veteran: it’s simple,secure & free! #HelmetstoHardhats

Veterans from H2H some of ‘best employees’ says contractor

Local 855

If one of the owners of a major scaffolding company in Toronto had an opportunity to hire a large crew of ex-military personnel transitioning into careers as carpenters, he’d do it on a moment’s notice.

They are that good, says Kris Rodobolski, a co-founder and chief operating officer of Summit Access Solutions Inc., which has built a reputation for its scaffolding work on major projects in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa and other regions of the province.

Over the last couple of years, the contractor has employed four to six ex-military personnel at any given time as carpenter apprentices in scaffolding through the Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) program.

At first, Rodobolski had no idea if the crews from H2H would work out on the job.

“We very quickly learned that these are some of the best employees we’ll ever have.”

He says even “green apprentices” have proven to be assets right away.

“They are hardworking, very respectful” of their peers and managers and “they are very prompt – as small an item as that seems.”

Rodobolski believes their military experience has been character building, helping those men and women develop good working habits and interpersonal skills needed as new apprentices.

Summit, which builds all types of scaffolding, including large platform access units and employs 80 to 100 workers, is one of a growing number of builders that see the merits of hiring H2H workers.

Read the full article here

H2H receives generous donations at Golf Tournement

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Mr. Romeo Milano of Safety Environmental presenting a cheque of the amount of $1000 to Normand from Helmets to Hardhats. M. Romeo Milano de Safety Environmental remettant un chèque au montant de 1000 $ à Normand Du Régiment aux Bâtiments.
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Normand, H2H, receiving a cheque from Mr. Christian Bassels TORCAN LIFT EQUIPMENT of $1000 in support to Helmets to Hardhats Canada. Normand, DRB, recevant un chèque au montant de 1000 $ de la part de M. Christian Bassels de TORCAN LIFT EQUIPMENT en support à Du Régiment aux Bâtiments.
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Normand, H2H, receiving a cheque from Mr. Alex McMiller TRV Group Inc of the amount of $1000 in support to Helmets to Hardhats Canada. Normand. DRB, recevant un chèque au montant de 1000 $ de la part de M. Alex McMiller de TRV Group Inc en support à Du Régiment aux Bâtiments.
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Normand with the owner of the Summit Access Solution Chris and Dave accompanied by Mr. Dan Church from Superior Crane and Michael Humphries from the Carpenters Union local 27. Normand avec les propriétaires de Summit Access Solution Chris et Dave ils sont accompagné par M. Dan Church de Superior Crane et par Michael Humphries du syndicat des Charpentiers-menuisiers local 27.

H2H offers free safety courses

Local 855

Ontario only! Helmetstohardhats is sponsoring free mandated industry safety courses throughout the province! These courses are required on any construction worksite. You must be registered with H2H prior to acceptance. Register today at Questions? Contact us anytime

H2H at Nova Scotia Building Trades

Local 855

Helmets to Hardhats is at the Mainland Nova Scotia Building Trades 7th Annual Conference! Our Placement Officer Dave is presenting today and will be answering questions etc at our booth. Come by and say Hi!

H2H at Human Rights Conference

Local 855

This week Jamie MacMillan will be representing Helmets to Hardhats with H2H Placement Officer Paul Bury at the Human Rights Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba for Pride Week. Thanks to you Todd, Karen and Diane from Rainbow Veterans for stopping by to welcome us. 🏳️‍🌈

H2H receives Skills Development Funding to reach more Veterans

The Ontario government is working for workers by supporting the development of accessible pathways to the skilled trades industry for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Reservists, Veterans, family members and senior cadets. Transitioning from military service is a difficult period, where Helmets to Hardhats has established a credible process that refers patrons to quality post-service careers. In partnership with Canada’s Building Trades Unions, Helmets to Hardhats has to date referred over 2500 clients to opportunities into apprenticeships and direct hires in Canada’s construction industry.

As a result of the second round of the Skills Development Fund application, the Ontario government financially supports a unique collaboration between Helmets to Hardhats , Fanshawe College, Loyalist College and Point Release Education. This innovative partnership forms the basis of a Military-Connected Student in Trades Pilot Program (MCSTPP), This program is a realization of a learning-to-employment pathway for military connected students entering the construction industry in Ontario.

“Ontario’s brave men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves put their lives on hold in service of their country,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “That is why our government is proud to invest in innovative programs like Helmets to Hardhats, which connects veterans to meaningful, well-paying careers when they return to civilian life.”

“With support from Minister McNaughton, Helmets to hardhats has partnered with leaders in Ontario postsecondary to provide credible, recognizable, and valued programming that will lead to a meaningful impact on Ontario’s economy. It is essential that we highlight career opportunities for Canadas Veterans and their families as we simultaneously honour the commitment to service they made on behalf of the nation,” said Joseph Maloney , Executive Director Helmets to Hardhats.

Along with the MCSTPP the Skills Development Fund supports an innovative program called Pathways to Post Military Employment. This is a partnership between Helmets to Hardhats and the Good Shepherd Ministries to seek out homeless veterans and offer them opportunities in the construction industry.

“It can be a struggle for a homeless Veteran to stay hopeful and envision a way off the streets. However, Good Shepherd’s partnership with Helmets to Hardhats offers a lifeline to Veterans. If a homeless veteran realizes that they can learn trade skills that will secure a good job, it gives them a sense of purpose. It means they can build a future, not just struggle to survive from day to day. By helping Good Shepherd connect homeless and at-risk Veterans with training that leads to good , well paying careers in the construction industry, Helmets to Hardhats is giving dignity, structure, and hope to Veterans on the streets. It is a great encouragement to see that the Ontario Government is investing in the future of Veterans. None of this should rest until all of our Veterans have a safe place they call home!” said Brother David Lynch , Executive Director Good Shepherd Ministries.

Ontario Skills Development Fund
Good Shepherd Ministries

H2H at CBTU Convention

Local 855

Two members of Helmets to Hardhats team at the 2022 CBTU Convention at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. From left to right, David Giannou our Atlantic Rep and Paul Bury our Western & Northern Rep. This is the first convention since 2020 due to Covid-19.

Outreach specialist joins H2H team

Jamie MacMillan

From Jamie McMillan, Outreach Specialist, H2H:
"Today I am so freaking proud to announce my newest adventure with Helmets to Hardhats Canada as their newest recruiter. It is an absolute honour to expand our KickAss Careers outreach program to recruit military veterans, their partners & children into the Canadian Building Trades Unions."

Outreach specialist joins H2H team

cora saunders

From Cora Saunders, Outreach Specialist, H2H:
"My military time was spent in both components, regular and reserve and I feel that having experience in both components served me well. My time was also spent in two elements both Air and Army. While I was with the Reserve I had postings at a Service Battalion as well as being both a clerk and a recruiter at both recruiting centres in Newfoundland.
Some of my other posting were 16 Wing in Borden, ON and 9 Wing Gander where I spent two years working with the Canadian Rangers. I did my final release in 2012 after spending 32 years in the service and decided it was a good time to travel a little."

H2H visits WorkingNB

Local 855

From Dave Giannou, Atlantic Canada Representative, H2H: I met with Deputy Minister Daniel Mills, Assistant Deputy Minister Alain Basque and Sarah Price, Executive Director, WorkingNB to discuss how Helmets to Hardhats and WorkingNB can work together for the mutual benefit of New Brunswickers and our veterans. In the attached pictures are DM Mills, Sarah Price and myself in the boardroom of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour NB. Alain Basque had to leave early and I didn’t get his picture. Next time…
Visit Working NB by clicking here.

More advocacy: H2H joins the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries


OCNI is very proud to announce that Helmets to Hardhats Canada was accepted as a supporting member of the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries (OCNI) at the January 7 2022 OCNI board meeting.

“The H2H supporting membership will help build stronger ties between OCNI and H2H resulting  in veterans finding good jobs and careers in some of the 220 OCNI member companies that supply goods and services to Canada’s nuclear industry that are playing a major role in helping Canada achieve its “Net Zero by 2050” GHG reduction target.” said OCNI President and CEO Dr. Ron Oberth. “We believe that Canada’s veterans will bring valuable skills, discipline, and teamwork to strengthen the Canadian nuclear supply chain.”

For more info on how to apply to the nuclear industry during or after military service: Click for Nuclear Info for military

Ops Notes: Poppies and My Pops


Among all the drama of the U.S. election, the new color coded COVID system and all the other ‘newsworthy’ headlines we should not forget that November 11th is Remembrance Day. It is the observed day where we salute those who have served and continue to serve; and we take pause to honor the fallen in times of war and conflict. It’s a singular day where we as a country collectively gives thanks to these men and women who have and still stand with courage and valour to protect their values and that of their chosen nation.

To read the rest of the story, click here

Trucking offers veterans a path to second careers

The path to a civilian truck driving career has improved in the last five years, as provincial licensing offices began to recognize military driving credentials known as a DND 404.

That change was largely realized through a campaign led by Helmets to Hardhats Canada, a non-profit group more widely known for helping veterans find careers in construction. It took a central role in discussions with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, working alongside J4 Transport, Teamsters Canada, and building trade unions.

“It’s crazy. You could drive a transport truck in the military, but not on a 400-Series highway in civilian life,” says Joseph Maloney, founder and executive director of Helmets to Hardhats Canada.

“It worked, and it’s in place, and I think besides helping veterans it also helped the trucking industry.”

To read the rest of the story, click here

H2H visits Teamsters Local 855

Local 855

Teamsters 855, St. John's Nfld & Labrador has been a proud affiliate with Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) since 2014!

If you are a veteran looking to re-enter the workforce, register with H2H today.
Visit Local 855 by clicking here.

LILLEY: Helmets to Hardhats helps veterans find jobs in the trades

H2H meets with Minister of Veterans Affairs

An organization started almost a decade ago to help veterans transition to civilian life is now extending help to those who stood shoulder to shoulder with Canada in Afghanistan.

Helmets to Hardhats helps place veterans who are leaving military service into training programs for the construction trades and will now help the interpreters, drivers, fixers, and others who worked alongside Canadian soldiers.

To read more

"Tommy" memorial restored

H2H meets with Minister of Veterans Affairs
From L to R: MP Marilyn Gladu MP, Sarnia—Lambton, Ontario, John Swart President of the Sarnia Building Trades, Joe Maloney, Nat’l Director #HelmetstoHardhats, MPP Bob Bailey of Sarnia

The Sarnia-Lambton Building Construction and Trades Council. led by President John Swart , led a campaign to restore the Statue after vandalism in April. The bronze statue, known as « Tommy » was dedicated in 1922 and stands as a tribute in Sarnia’s Veterans Park to those soldiers who sacrificed during the First World War.

"I was pleased to be a part of Saturday’s 100th anniversary ceremony at the Sarnia Cenotaph,"" said MPP Bob Bailey via Twitter, "Local tradespeople, companies and organizations donated over $100,000 in materials and labour to upgrade the cenotaph and restore the 100-year-old “Tommy” statue after it was damaged."

H2H observes first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

H2H meets with Minister of Veterans Affairs

Remembering and honouring residential school survivors and their families.

H2H Labour Day Support despite parade cancellation

H2H meets with Minister of Veterans Affairs

Due to covid restrictions the Sarnia, ON, the official Labour Day parade was cancelled but the building trades wanted to keep the 120 year tradition of labour going so they decided to gather at the workers monument looking over Chemical Valley. The workers monument is on the left.

Joe Maloney, H2H is holding the Support Our Troops flag on the right and next to him (R) is Ron Simon, Veteran, who joined the Boilermakers through H2H. The others are members from the Insulators and Boilermakers unions.

Joe Maloney would like to thank John Swart president of the Sarnia building trades council for keeping this 120 year record going. Very proud day.

Success in life after service: Drew Semper

H2H meets with Minister of Veterans Affairs

Moving from military avionics to electrical services in the private sector meant starting over again. Drew completed the intense, 12-week pre-apprenticeship training in November 2020, working toward his Red Seal, the provincially recognized designation as a qualified electrician. He is now a first-year apprentice working for Brymar Electric, which does wiring for commercial and residential construction projects in the Edmonton area.

For more information

H2H meets with Minister of Veterans Affairs

H2H meets with Minister of Veterans Affairs

From the Minister of Veterans Affairs Twitter ( @L_MacAulay): After more than 36 years in uniform, David Giannou is now working to help Veterans start careers in the skilled trades at @H2HCanada. Great to chat with him, and glad we’re supporting the work he’s doing through the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund.

For more information

Vandalism of Cenotaph soldier an insult to community

CARPENTERS’ LOCAL 27 — A crew of volunteers have been spending their Saturdays working on renovations to the MacKenzie Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion in Woodbridge, Ont.
The bronze soldier, known as “Tommy,” has adorned Sarnia’s Cenotaph since 1922. Sarnia Police photo

It was a stinging slap in the face to the memories of all who have answered Canada’s call to arms.

What’s more, it desecrated the sacrifice of Sarnia’s fallen soldiers, sailors and airmen whose names, in the hundreds, are recorded on the Cenotaph in Veterans Park.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley spoke of “sadness and outrage” after vandals pried the rifle off the First World War statue, known as “Tommy,” on April 6. The bronze soldier has stood sentinel over what Bradley called “this Hallowed ground” since 1922.

Royal Canadian Legion Vice President Les Jones, a former police officer and veteran of the First Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment, said it was “incomprehensible” someone could commit such a thoughtless crime against “an empty tomb honouring our brave men and women.”

When John Swart learned the metal gun had been stolen, however, he knew his members would spring into action. Swart, president of the Sarnia-Lambton Building Construction and Trades Council, said his members were appalled at the disrespect shown Canada’s war vets.

His 7,000-member Council is part of a national campaign known as ‘Helmets to Hardhats,’ which recruits veterans to construction apprentice trades once they’ve completed their service. So the desecration of Tommy hit a nerve. The members, who represent all construction trades from operating engineers to insulators and laborers, are raising money to cover the restoration cost.

Read more here

H2H Info Webinar for COATS & Cadets

CARPENTERS’ LOCAL 27 — A crew of volunteers have been spending their Saturdays working on renovations to the MacKenzie Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion in Woodbridge, Ont.

A Helmets to Hardhats Canada (H2H) information session has been scheduled for one week from today, June 9, 2021. Hosted by Normand Trépanier, a 37 year Veteran of the CAF and current Deputy Director of Helmets to Hardhats, and Paul Bury, a 33 year Veteran of the CAF and Director of Placements for Helmets to Hardhats, they will share information about the program, which matches the military community (including senior cadets) with skilled trades in the building & construction industry.

For more information (COATS & Volunteers / SAIOC & bénévoles Facebook)

Former military officer hired to help vets find construction work in region

The veterans support program Helmets to Hardhats Canada has received a federal grant to hire an Atlantic representative.

Dave Giannou, a retired lieutenant-commander in the navy, began his new position last week. He is working to help former military personnel in the region find new employment in the construction industry.

"We are a family, we always take care of our own so this is an opportunity for me to give back to the family," he said.

To read the rest of the story, click here

Letter from Deputy Minister VAC to H2H

To all Veterans, Families, Associations and Stakeholders,

Today, Government announced that my tour of duty as the Deputy Minister of Veterans Affairs Canada is coming to a close. My last day with the Department will be 24 May, when I will hang-up my spurs…again!

Over these past six and a half years, it has been a privilege to continue to serve those who served our nation. It was humbling to honour our fallen comrades and I was proud to make every effort to assist those in need.

All of us who wore the uniform of the CAF and RCMP made a choice to sign-up and each of us had a unique experience in uniform. There were good times and there were tough times. Tragically, some of our comrades in arms made the ultimate sacrifice for Canada. Some amongst us were wounded, some became ill or injured.

For some folks, the support from Veterans Affairs made a positive difference on the road to recovery and well-being. In other cases, the great staff at VAC will continue to provide support that reflects Care, Compassion and Respect. Our VAC employees are dedicated to their mission to support all of our Veterans and their families. Almost all have a link to a Veteran in their personal life and many are Veterans themselves. While they have a huge amount of empathy, some need to use all the tools at their disposal to gently nudge us on the road to wellness.

Thank you for your service in the Veterans’ community, for your enduring leadership, generosity and support to those in need. I have appreciated your insights, your determination to make a difference and your understanding. A small request: just as we learned on Basic Training, please continue to work together as a tight-knit team towards a common good for our Veterans.

It’s been great to serve with you again! May you be blessed with health and safety.


Walt Natynczyk

H2H hires Atlantic Rep with help from federal grant

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Helmets to Hardhats Canada is redoubling its commitment to Armed Forces veterans seeking skilled trades training and career opportunities in the Maritime provinces by appointing retired Lieutenant Commander David Giannou as its Atlantic Canada Transition Service Representative, effective May 10. He will be based out of Halifax.

Helmets to Hardhats — H2H for short — is a not-for-profit group that works in partnership with government, industry and trade unions to assist veterans (as well as their spouses and dependents, reservists, and senior cadets) in their transition to civilian careers in industry. Giannou will coordinate efforts between the Atlantic provinces’ building trades councils, employer associations, and the Canadian Armed Forces.

Giannou’s hiring comes as a direct result of a grant from the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund, an initiative of Veterans Affairs Canada that provides financial support to programs that have a positive and lasting impact on the veteran community.

Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay said the organization was deserving of the funding boost. “Helmets to Hardhats does exceptional work in support of our veterans every day. I know David will help veterans find rewarding new careers in the skilled trades across Atlantic Canada. I’m very proud that we’re able to provide them with support to make this possible through the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund.”

H2H Executive Director Joe Maloney welcomed the federal grant. “Canada faces an impending shortage of skilled tradespeople, and these brave men and women have just the skillsets necessary to succeed in the trades,” he said. “These folks need rewarding second careers, and industry needs dedicated workers. It’s a perfect fit, and a win-win situation for all stakeholders involved. Thanks to Veterans Affairs, we’re making this goal a reality.”

Giannou is a native Maritimer, born in Glace Bay, NS and raised in Corner Brook, NL. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy in 1982 through its Marine Engineering Technologist Program, and graduated in 1985 with two diplomas. He served for the next 16 years as a marine engineer on RCN ships and submarines, then spent a decade overseeing simulation training. This expertise led to his 2013 appointment to the Naval Engineering School. He recently retired after a distinguished 36-year career in the RCN.

“David brings with him a wealth of experience in training and engineering, and he’s a product of the Navy,” said Maloney. “I couldn’t be more pleased to have him heading up our efforts to forge new careers for Maritimers from our military.”