Recent Media

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 https://app.helmetstohardhats.ca/en/Register Questions? Contact us anytime https://www.helmetstohardhats.ca/en/contact.htm


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.

Links:
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

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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

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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.

Respectfully,

Walt Natynczyk


H2H hires Atlantic Rep with help from federal grant

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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.”