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Helmets to Hardhats Canada

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H2H visits Teamsters Local 855

December 6, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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.

Trucking offers veterans a path to second careers

November 11, 2021 John G Smith

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

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

November 9, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

Ops Notes: Poppies and My Pops

November 6, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

"Tommy" memorial restored

October 30, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team
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

September 30, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team

Remembering and honouring residential school survivors and their families.

H2H Labour Day Support despite parade cancellation

September 8, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

August 23, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

July 6, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

June 3, 2021 Phil Egan & Mary-Jane Egan The Sarnia Journal
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

June 3, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

May 17, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

May 9, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

May 10, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team
Click on letter to enlarge

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.”

Boilermaker and Veteran saves a Life

May 5, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team
UA members/representatives and Dalas Santavy (front row, center) recognizing IBB’s Ron Simon (front row, left of center) and UA’s Cody Shephard (front row, right of center) for their actions.

Lodge 128 member Ron Simon is being heralded for his part in saving the life of a fellow tradesperson. Brother Simon stepped forward along with UA Local 663 member Cody Shephard to perform CPR on a UA member suffering a serious cardiac event.

With thanks to Ron, Cody, and Shell’s emergency response this fortunate individual is recovering in hospital.

To read the rest of the story, click here

MacKenzie Legion branch gets facelift from dedicated trades volunteers

April 20, 2021 Don Procter, Daily Commercial News
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.

For just about the duration of the pandemic, Mike Humphries and a volunteer crew have been spending many of their Saturdays on renovations to the MacKenzie Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion in Woodbridge, Ont.

“It’s one of our older Legions that needs a little bit of a facelift and I wanted to do something to help them out,” says Humphries, a business representative of Carpenters’ Local 27 and the union’s liaison for the Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) program.

To read the rest of the story, click here

Canadian military veteran praises H2H efforts for enduring pandemic challenges

March 25, 2021 Don Procter, Daily Commercial News
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

February 22, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team

(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

February 17, 2021 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

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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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