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Helmets to Hardhats Canada

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Media Contact: Aidan Strickland

IBEW local 105 in Hamilton running free Welding course

03 Jan 2024 Helmets to Hardhats Team

Want to learn welding for a new career in the building trades? International Brotherhood of Electrician Workers local 105 in Hamilton will be running one Welding course that starts February 5th 2024.

View the Course details here

Helmets to Hardhats Empowers Indigenous Veterans, Advances Diversity in Skilled Trades

21 Jun 2024 Helmets to Hardhats Team

Ottawa, Canada - June 21, 2024 - Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) proudly announces the remarkable progress of its Indigenous Veteran Outreach Project, a pivotal initiative aimed at fostering diversity in the skilled trades while advancing Reconciliation by promoting careers in Canada's 14 Building Trades Unions to Indigenous communities across Canada.

Since its inception in June 2023, the project has emerged as a pathway for Indigenous Canadian Armed Forces Veterans and their families' seeking opportunities in the unionized construction industry. The Indigenous Veteran Outreach Project has achieved significant milestones by engaging with over 70 Indigenous organizations nationwide, which is led by the dedicated efforts of the Helmets to Hardhats Indigenous Outreach Advisor. This engagement has been supported by the project's active participation in eight major conferences and cultural gatherings, from the Hadiya'dagénhahs First Annual Pow Wow at Brock University to Indigenous Veterans Day celebrations in Manitoba and participating in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls March with the Cheam First Nation in British Columbia, these events enhanced cultural awareness and facilitated valuable networking opportunities crucial for bridging the gap between military service and civilian careers.

The various outreach methods used in engaging with Indigenous communities are central to the project's success. Through virtual outreach to remote Indigenous communities and active participation in culturally significant gatherings, this versatile approach has enabled Helmets to Hardhats to exceed engagement goals by facilitating deeper connections within Indigenous communities while promoting the available opportunities in Canada's Building Trades Unions.

Looking ahead, Helmets to Hardhats reaffirms its commitment to Reconciliation by empowering the Indigenous military community to explore career opportunities within the skilled trades workforce. By building upon its solid foundation of outreach through community organizations and national Indigenous associations, the project aims to sustain and expand its efforts, aligning closely with the evolving needs of Indigenous Veterans and their families. By prioritizing community-specific outreach, the project continues to pave the way for successful transitions of Indigenous peoples into fulfilling careers within Canada's unionized construction sector.

View the Original release here

Woodbine Entertainment and Helmets to Hardhats Form King’s Plate Partnership

20 Jun 2024 Helmets to Hardhats Team

TORONTO, June 20, 2024 – Woodbine Entertainment and Helmets to Hardhats Canada (H2H) are pleased to announce a new partnership for the 2024 King’s Plate, taking place at Woodbine Racetrack on August 17.

Through the partnership, H2H will be recognized as the Official Building Trades Unions Veterans’ Liaison of the 165th running of The King’s Plate, and a Canadian Veteran will be included in the opening ceremony.

“Woodbine is proud to support Helmets to Hardhats and its valuable objectives,” said Woodbine Entertainment CEO Michael Copeland. “We can think of no better way to show our appreciation for our servicepeople than to see them succeed in life after their years of hard work and sacrifice.”

H2H’s mission is to support Veterans, reservists, senior cadets, military family members, and Afghan Interpreters in finding meaningful second careers in the unionized construction industry. They do this by simplifying and expediting the process of joining the skilled trades by assisting clients into apprenticeship opportunities with one of Canada’s 14 Building Trades Unions or offering direct hires with recognized employers.

"We are thrilled to partner with Woodbine Entertainment to champion our mission of empowering Veterans with meaningful career opportunities in Canada's Building Trades Unions," said James Hogarth, Executive Director of Helmets to Hardhats Canada. "Through this partnership, we aim to raise awareness about our organization and our services to the military community while showcasing the abundant career possibilities available within the unionized construction industry. Together, we will pave the way for a brighter future in the construction industry with the value added by a Veteran."

Founded in 1860, The King's Plate is the longest continuously run stakes race in North America and the richest horse race in Canada.

View the Original release here

Helmets to Hardhats working to increase female representation in the skilled trades

08 Mar 2024 Helmets to Hardhats Team

It is an unfortunate reality that women are predominately underrepresented in careers throughout the skilled trades. However, with the demand at an all-time high for skilled tradespeople, Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) is committed to increasing awareness, reducing barriers and ensuring military-affiliated women and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community can find meaningful careers in the unionized construction industry. Helmets to Hardhats in undertaking this work with the support of the Office to Advance Women Apprentices (OAWA).

Today, on International Women’s Day, we recognize and celebrate the contributions of tradeswomen throughout Canada while aiming to empower the next generation of tradeswomen to enter the workforce. In recognition of this important day, H2H reaffirms their commitment and vital partnership to assist women in service in their search to find rewarding second careers in the skilled trades.

Through the Veterans and Family Well-Being Fund, administered by Veterans Affairs Canada, Helmets to Hardhats recruits and retrains marginalized groups, including women and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, as apprentices within Canada’s 14 Building Trades Unions. This initiative has been ongoing since 2022 and has successfully registered 145 individuals from these marginalized communities. Helmets to Hardhats expects to surpass their goal of 150 diverse registrants by the end of March 2024.

As Canada is up against a tight timeline to counteract the aging demographic of the workforce, the construction industry needs to recruit 309,000 new workers over the next decade. Helmets to Hardhats knows that the military-affiliated community is an underutilized demographic crucial to filling these labour shortages. Employers will attest to the skills that the military community brings to the workforce, including leadership, time management and work ethic.

While Helmets to Hardhats fills career vacancies with trained, skilled, and reliable employees, they also aid in the successful transition, financial stability, and increased visibility of underrepresented groups within the skilled trades.

H2H strongly believes that the construction industry has a significant 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. Our work today will pave the way for future generations of skilled tradespeople.


The unionized construction industry has diverse career opportunities requiring a diverse workforce. Helmets to Hardhats is committed to supporting marginalized groups – Veterans, women, members of the LGBTQ2S+ community, and Indigenous peoples access the training they need to start and excel in a career in the skilled trades. Helmets to Hardhats will continue to advocate for the value added by all Veterans into the unionized construction industry.

- James Hogarth, Executive Director of Helmets to Hardhats

I want to help others get started in a career that can support themselves and their families. Change is coming, and change is scary, but change is ok, and for me, change is welcome. There is a place for everyone to succeed and I want to be the change I would like to see in the world.

- - Emma Pollard, Project Director for the Office to Advance Women Apprentices Alberta

During my time in the military, I was unaware of the vast opportunities in the civilian world that would have been available to me after my service. At Helmets to Hardhats, I can promote and connect other Veterans to incredible and versatile careers in the skilled trades. Providing the military community with the knowledge they need to start a second successful career ensures all Veterans feel supported and empowered to enter their next chapter.

- - Cora Saunders, Veteran and Women and LGBTQ2S+ Outreach Specialist, Helmets to Hardhats
View the Original release here

Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) promote careers in the skilled trades to members of the Canadian Cadet Organizations

26 Sep 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) continues to promote in-demand and well-paying career opportunities within Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU) to members of the Canadian military community. This summer, H2H expanded outreach initiatives to participants of the Canadian Cadet Program aged 16 to 18.

As Canada addresses labour availability issues across the country, Helmets to Hardhats is engaging with an untapped demographic of youth talent to support the unionized construction industry by building the workforce of tomorrow. By collaborating with the Canadian Armed Forces and the Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers Support Group leadership, Helmets to Hardhats visited 11 Cadet Camps across Canada to promote the opportunities for Cadet members within Canada’s 14 Building Trades Unions. Helmets to Hardhats connected with over 1,000 potential skilled trades employees of the future at Cadet Training Centres, such as:

  • CTC Greenwood, CTC Gagetown and CTC Shearwater in Atlantic Canada
  • CTC Valcartier, CTC Kingston, CTC Trenton, CTC Connaught and CTC Blackdown in Central Canada &
  • CTC Comox and CTC Brandon in Western Canada.

Cadets are a valuable demographic to recruit into the skilled trades. There are approximately 52,000 Cadets across Canada, and 1/3 of them will be ready to enter the workforce when they finish high school. Cadets are also honing valuable skills that future employers within the unionized construction industry will appreciate. Throughout their time as a Cadet, they are taught leadership skills, develop an appreciation for health and safety and are instilled with the military values of excellence, discipline and physical fitness.

While BuildForce Canada estimates that the construction industry needs to recruit 299,200 new workers by 2032, Helmets to Hardhats understands the importance of promoting pathways to rewarding and life-long careers in the skilled trades to Canada’s youth.

View the Original release here

Statement made by Helmets to Hardhats on the 2024 Ontario Budget

27 Mar 2024 Helmets to Hardhats Team
Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) applaud the 2024 Ontario Budget, announced yesterday. This government recognizes the contributions and vital importance that the construction industry will make to continue growing Ontario's economy and meeting the needs of our expanding communities. Through the Building Ontario Fund, we will see investments and advancements in our province's infrastructure to ensure our province can continue to thrive and support future generations.

Helmets to Hardhats also recognizes the government's emphasis on investing in the skilled trades workforce to ensure they get the skills and training they need for in-demand jobs. This includes an additional $100 million in the Skills Development Fund, which has been supporting Helmets to Hardhats and the Ontario economy by allowing us to train and refer former military personnel into second careers in the skilled trades.

The 2024 Ontario Budget also focuses on attracting youth to explore promising careers in the skilled trades by advancing various programs to break the stigma and simplify the apprentice system. This will enable H2H to play a more significant role in meeting the demands of the Ontario labour market as we continue to promote in-demand and life-long careers in the skilled trades to the young men and women of the Canadian military as they seek rewarding civilian careers.

H2H is excited by the funding provisions in the 2024 Ontario Budget and recognizes the Ontario government as an ally of the unionized construction industry and the military community. The construction industry will continue to thrive with these investments and the value added by hiring Veterans.

Statement made by Helmets to Hardhats on Remembrance Day

10 Nov 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team
On November 11th, we honour the brave men and women who have served or are serving our nation in the Canadian military. Today, we collectively pause to remember their sacrifices and pay tribute to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, defending the rights and freedoms that we, as Canadians, cherish.

One way to remember and recognize the dedicated service of Canadian Veterans is by providing them with meaningful civilian employment as they transition into a new chapter in their life. Many Veterans leave the service at a young age, with a long working career ahead of them. They have acquired elite skills, training and a work ethic that is unmatched. This year, as we remember the fallen, Helmets to Hardhats encourages you to continue to stand up for the Veterans looking for careers in your communities.

We will never forget the sacrifices the Canadian Armed Forces members and our Veterans have made for us. Therefore, we have made it our mission to offer our services to support them as they find well-paying second careers in the unionized construction industry. To minimize the stress of our clients and simultaneously reduce skill shortages across Canada, Helmets to Hardhats works with Canada's 14 international unions that represent 60+ different trades by referring Veterans to available opportunities.

Today and every day, we pay tribute to the Canadian service members, past and present, who have served in uniform to keep Canadians safe.

Lest we forget

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We Thank You

Helmets to Hardhats is grateful to the many contributions it has received in the 10 years we have served the military community. The real recipients of these donations are the men and women who have found meaningful careers after their military service. Read their stories to see how your donations impact not only the Veteran, but their families as well.

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