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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

View the Original release here

Statement made by Helmets to Hardhats on the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

30 Sep 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

Today marks the third National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day was established to commemorate and honour the victims, survivors, families and communities of Canada’s residential school systems. Our collective responsibility as a Nation is to acknowledge our history and learn from the past. We are reminded that Reconciliation is an ongoing journey and that we all have a part to play. From engaging in difficult and meaningful conversations to listening, learning and reflecting on the teachings of Indigenous Peoples, we are navigating the path towards Reconciliation.

At Helmets to Hardhats, we will continue to seek and build meaningful and sustainable relationships with Indigenous communities and organizations to work collaboratively towards equal and accessible career opportunities in the skilled trades for the Indigenous military population. By removing barriers, offering work-related training opportunities, educational upgrading, and providing referrals into the workforce, we hope to support the Indigenous workforce and create prosperity for the Indigenous military community and their families.

Today, we encourage everyone to learn more about the history of the residential schools in Canada and the many contributions that Indigenous Peoples have made to the Canadian Armed Forces and the unionized construction industry. Today and every day, we recognize and celebrate the strength, resilience and culture of Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

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 James Hogarth on the resignation of Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development

22 Sep 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

Since Minister McNaughton was appointed Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development over four years ago, Monte has been an avid ally and partner to Helmets to Hardhats and the unionized construction industry. He has always been a champion for underrepresented groups in the skilled trades, including women and Veterans. From ensuring the skilled trades feel safe and accessible for women to protecting the civilian jobs of military reservists, Monte has done incredible work on behalf of the Ontario construction industry.

Through the Skills Development Fund, overseen by Minister McNaughton, Helmets to Hardhats has recruited, trained and referred more workers and apprentices to sustainable careers in Ontario’s skilled trades. Monte has consistently recognized the value added by a Veteran, and our partnership has provided life-changing second careers for the men and women who have served our country.

Monte, thank you for your dedication, leadership and the strong working relationship you built with Helmets to Hardhats over the years.

Helmets to Hardhats would like to wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors; we know you will continue making outstanding contributions in this next chapter of your career.

Helmets to Hardhats joins forces with Aboriginal Veterans Autoctones

24 Jul 2023 By Robin MacLennan, Editor, Ontario Construction News

Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) Canada and Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones (AVA) are joining forces with a memorandum of understanding they say will ensure Indigenous veterans across Canada are aware of careers available in the skilled trades. “Supporting Indigenous military members transition to careers in the skilled trades is critical to advancing reconciliation and diversifying Canada’s workforce,” said James Hogarth, executive director at Helmets to Hardhats Canada. “By fulfilling this memorandum of understanding, we are committing to a shared vision of providing rewarding careers, increasing employment rates, and filling skills shortages across Canada by promoting pathways into Canada’s Building Trade Unions.” Throughout the month of June, Canada recognizes and celebrates the history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people across Canada. It is a chance for us to reflect on the past and work towards a brighter future based on reconciliation. Goals include ensuring Indigenous veterans are employed at the same rate as the rest of the country.

Read more here

Helmets to Hardhats connects Afghan refugees to careers in the skilled trades with support from Aman Lara

19 May 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

OTTAWA, May 19, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As the Government of Canada works to resettle at least 40,000 Afghan refugees by the end of 2023, Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) is collaborating with Aman Lara and local building trades unions across Canada to provide recently resettled Afghan nationals with opportunities in the skilled trades.

For many Canadian newcomers, finding and securing well-paying, meaningful employment is a critical yet difficult step in their resettlement journey. That is why Helmets to Hardhats, a national non-profit organization typically dedicated to supporting transitioning military members, Veterans, Cadets, Reservists and military family members into opportunities in the skilled trades, has expanded their program eligibility to include resettled Afghan nationals. Helmets to Hardhats believes that because of their sacrifices and support of the Canadian military, it is our turn to assist them. Helmets to Hardhats is easing the transition into Canadian society with career and apprenticeship opportunities in the unionized construction industry.

Helmets to Hardhats provides direct and meaningful connections to ensure that Afghans interested in joining the skilled trades can break into the industry with little to no stress and no cost to the career seeker. The inclusion of Afghans into the Helmets to Hardhats program is aiding their successful transition into Canadian life by providing financial stability, earn-while-you-learn training opportunities, and access to health benefits and pension plans.

Helmets to Hardhats works directly with Canada’s 14 Building Trades Unions to find our clients careers in over 60 different trades and occupations. Aman Lara is also supporting Helmets to Hardhats in connecting Afghan refugees to well-paying careers in the skilled trades. Currently, Helmets to Hardhats is working closely with:

  • Aman Lara: a non-profit organization that evacuates vulnerable people from nations in crises. They communicate directly with vulnerable clients throughout the evacuation process and assist in their resettlement upon arrival in Canada. Aman Lara has been vital in spreading awareness of the opportunities and benefits within the skilled trades to resettled Afghans and their families.
  • Carpenters’ Regional Council: is composed of 31 affiliated Local Unions of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, representing members from Ontario to British Columbia. Many of their Locals are now employing Afghan nationals through the Helmets to Hardhats Program and are supported by their Veteran Liaison, Michael Humphries.
  • Canada’s Building Trades Unions (CBTU): is the national voice of over half a million Canadian construction workers--members of 14 international unions who work in more than 60 different trades and occupations. CBTU is committed to representing all workers in the unionized construction industry, building a diverse workforce and ensuring all workers are treated equally.

These organizations are filling critical labour shortages while providing sustainable employment and developing a diverse and inclusive skilled trades workforce. Over the last 18 months, many of the Local Unions of the Carpenters’ Regional Council have provided work opportunities for Afghan refugees and their family members since they arrived in Canada, including Local 27 and Local 675 in the GTA and Local 1946 in London, ON.

Helmets to Hardhats will continue collaborating with Canada’s Unions and like-minded organizations to assist additional Afghan nationals in finding and retaining stable careers in the skilled trades.

View the Original release here

H2H at Halifax SCAN

17 May 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

Normand Trépanier at our Helmets to Hardhats booth at Halifax Scan Seminar 16-18 May 2023. The Scan Seminar was held at CFB Shearwater.

H2H at NABTU conference

May 11 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

H2H’s Paul Bury and Normand Trépanier participated to the North America Building Trade Union (NABTU) convention  24 - 26 April 2023. They enjoyed listening to US President Joe Biden’s speech.  President Biden used the platform to officially announce that he’ll run for a second term. Over 3000 delegates across North America participated in the convention.

Statement by Helmets to Hardhats on the National Day of Mourning

April 28 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

Today, on the National Day of Mourning, we remember and pay tribute to the Canadian workers who have been injured or killed on their job site. Our thoughts and sympathies go out to all those who have lost a loved one and are living with the heartache of these preventable tragedies.

A single injury or death on a Canadian construction site is one too many. To help prevent tragedies in the workforce Helmets to Hardhats only works with the unionized construction industry. Canadian Veterans and the military community have already put their lives on the line protecting our rights and freedoms. It is now our responsibility to protect them by ensuring they are being referred to Canada’s safest employers and job sites.

Helmets to Hardhats emphasizes the importance of safety to our clients which is why we offered free Safety Training Courses for Ontario based military members, funded through the Province of Ontario's Skills Development Fund. Helmets to Hardhats was able to run 12 different courses throughout Ontario, training a total of 87 military community members, including 8 Afghan interpreters. All participants were supplied with boots, helmets and vests to ensure they were prepared to start their careers safely.

According to a 2021 study conducted by the Ontario Construction Secretariat, unionized construction companies were associated with a 31% lower chance of injury compared non-unionized companies. Research shows that those working in the unionized construction industry are also less likely to file injury claims. The unionized construction workforce experiences a greater sense of overall health and wellness and averages 29% lower lost-time claims compared to their counterparts.

Researchers and stakeholders conclude that the unionized construction industry suffers less workplace injury because unions offer, "better occupational health and safety (OHS) training leading to safer working conditions and more knowledgeable workers. With training and union backing, unionized workers are more empowered to report on unsafe conditions, refuse unsafe work and ensure enforcement when needed.”

On this Day of Mourning, Helmets to Hardhats encourages Canadian employers, employees, unions, and industry stakeholders to continue to raise awareness about preventable work-related mishaps and promote union advantages. Helmets to Hardhats will continue to keep our clients safe and promote Canada’s unionized construction industry as a healthy and safe workplace with the safety, reliability, team work and the overall value added by a Veteran.


UPDATING A STUDY OF THE UNION EFFECT ON SAFETY IN THE ICI CONSTRUCTION SECTOR Amick III BC, Hogg-Johnson S, Latour-Villamil D, Saunders R. Protecting construction worker health and safety in Ontario, Canada: identifying a union safety effect. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2015; 57(12):1337- 1342.

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

March 8, 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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.

Helmets to Hardhats meets with HVAC/Insulators local 137

February 14, 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

Gary Young the Organizer of the HVAC/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

February 10, 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

January 31, 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

January 24, 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

January 23, 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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

January 11, 2023 Helmets to Hardhats Team

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!

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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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