The following stories were shared by veterans who found new careers through the Helmets to Hardhats program. Do you have a success story to share? Want to create a video testimony? We will set it up!
Shawn Meikle, Journeyman Millwright, shares his successful experience registering with Helmets to Hardhats and gaining a secure civilian career while continuing to serve as a Reservist.
Ben Swanson, United Association Journeyman Plumber talks about his experience after registering with Helmets to Hardhats and why he thinks the skilled trades is a great career after serving in the military.
Andrew Gorman, Owner Icon Survey Group, tells his success story of transitioning from the military to owning his own company and helping others into the building trades through Helmets to Hardhats.
Dave Meaney, Teamster, talks about his struggles to find employment after his military service and how Helmets to Hardhats made the difference in his second career with the Teamsters.
Brent Dewell, 2nd Term Apprentice Carpenter working for Butcon Construction and serving with 32 CER (Combat Engineer Regiment), explains why joining the Carpenters Union is a great career move for Veterans.
I served with The 3rd Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment for six years and loved every minute of it...
I am and have been a Senior Manager for a mechanical contractor Kel-Gor Limited in Sarnia, ON for the past 14 yrs...
Construction Labour Relations Association of Ontario is an employer association representing General Contractors and Sub-trade Contractors working in the construction industry.
I would like to thank everyone from the H2H community for their gracious help and support...
Spring of 2013 I attended a scan seminar at CFB Edmonton and Helmet to Hardhats gave a presentation on what services they can provide for vets.
The Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) program helped me to find a great civilian career as a training coordinator in the trades.
I would like to thank Helmets to Hardhats for playing a vital roll in my entry to the construction industry...
My experience with Helmets to Hardhats was great...
I was fortunate enough to enter this trade through the Helmets to Hardhats program...
"Helmets to Hardhats played a crucial role in connecting me with the right opportunities. Their dedication and commitment to helping veterans like myself transition into meaningful careers is truly commendable. Their expertise and network in the industry ensured that I received the guidance and resources I needed to embark on this new path. The key role that Helmets to Hardhats played was helping to get me into a pre-apprenticeship program (with UA Local 56 in Nova Scotia) which gave me the essential skills, knowledge and hands on experience to start my apprenticeship. Thanks to Helmets to Hardhats I am much more secure and confident in my career. If you are a veteran or an active serving member considering release. Contact Helmets to Hardhats they will help you with the transition to civy street and help you start a brand new career. "
"My experience with H2H was extremely positive. H2H genuinely helped me get good employment. I had a brief enlistment and some trade experience in carpentry, but with H2H, I was able to blend my experience into something for Local 27. Now I'll be able to provide for my family in a much better way. I'm very pleased, and I hope other CAF members will take advantage of the program."
"Helmets to Hardhats changed my life in a matter of weeks. I was doing intensive labour out of province with a family at home. Now I am doing my millwright apprenticeship, I am learning everyday and working towards an amazing future. That future was made possible by the amazing staff at H2H. I am forever grateful for all the help I have received and consider myself very fortunate to have received those services. My hope and feeling of security has been restored, for me and my new family. Thank you H2H!"
"I served 6 years in the infantry. Upon release i needed help with a connection and training/certification to get into the trades I wanted. Helmets to hardhats really came thru with course availability, gear and the connections into the trades who are looking for hard working, disciplined workers. Thank you Helmets to Hardhats."
"Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) is a great organization for veterans looking to enter the trades. They even offered free construction safety courses for the ones that have made an account with them, this is a huge bonus as most trades require these courses. H2H has helped me take my heavy equipment experience from the army into joining the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) . I suggest any vet that is thinking about transitioning or is already out and does not know what to do to contact them and make an account. Even if there are no opportunities you are interested in listed on their website you just need to tell them what you're looking for and chances are they will be able to find you something. I asked Normand if they had contacts with IUOE and within 2 weeks I was signed up to my local union and loaded onto the next heavy equipment operator course! That would not have happened as fast as it did (if at all) had it not been for H2H putting me in contact with the director of apprenticeship with the union. Thanks H2H for helping us vets!"
"As for my experience with H2H I would like to say that the program has been nothing but helpful and has shown multiple opportunities within the trades and offers many courses and learning opportunities for those looking for work. Thank you greatly for your help it has been much appreciated."
"I was a member of 1 RCR for six years based out of Petawawa Ontario. At the start of 2022 I decided to leave the military to be with my wife full time out in Nova Scotia. This organization and specifically Dave out of the Atlantic Branch helped me find work. After my first conversation with H2H they put me in touch with a number of unions out in Halifax. It felt like H2H actually listened to what I was interested in and what I wanted to do and I didn’t feel that he was forcing me into one construction sector or another. H2H actually reached out to them first explaining who I was, where I came from and why I would be a good fit. This was nice as I was able to avoid that “awkward” introduction. In the end I decided to join the Plumber, Pipe-fitters Union out in Halifax. I am currently working on the largest job site in Nova Scotia, and am working my way towards becoming a red seal plumber. If it wasn’t for Helmets to Hardhats, I would not have the opportunity I do today."
"H2H helped ease my transition into the civilian workforce. They have great connections which led me to the Ironworkers union (local 765) in Ottawa. And straight away I was doing their training and am now hired on as an apprentice. Can’t thank H2H enough"
"I want to thank H2H for helping me with the whole transition process. You made it very easy and painless. I appreciate what you¹re doing and I will definitely recommend it to any of the guys."
"I would like to thank the H2H program for helping me find a local job. I recently left the CAF after 10 years of service, and was looking for a job locally when I came across the H2H program and heard they can help veterans get into construction and help find work near their home. The big reason why I left the CAF was so I can be home. The H2H staff helped me to search for work and referred me to the Millwright Union (Local 1592) . I enrolled with Local 1592 in Sarnia and I am enjoying learning a trade and starting a new career. H2H helped me find a job I enjoy and made it easy for me to find work and join a union, they helped me to get all the training I need to succeed. And for that I say thank you so much for helping me!"
"My name is Himatullah Wahid I worked as an interpreter in support of the Canadian Armed Forces in Afghanistan and recently immigrated to Toronto, Canada. After being informed that Helmets to Hardhats now works with resettled Afghanistan Interpreters I quickly registered with H2H and was in contact with Normand. He referred me to the Carpenters Union Local 27 . I have recently been accepted with them and I have started my apprenticeship. Thanks to H2H and Local 27, I felt welcomed and found an opportunity in a great trade."
"Working with H2H has been simply outstanding. They truly go above and beyond to aid and assist CAF members to transition over to the civilian workforce. I was able to release and start my new career within a few days of releasing. This wouldn’t have been possible without the team at H2H. I joined the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 793 as a Mobile Crane Apprentice. Upon getting into contact with H2H and registering on their website, I was contacted by H2H. They went into thorough detail about the process and what they do at H2H and contacted the union on my behalf and within no time I was contacted by them to start my application process. Once the application process was completed, I was immediately offered to be sworn in and to join the union. I was blown away how quickly that happened. In my case I had no release date planned at that time. I would have never thought that that’s how quick things would have gone. At this point in time, I needed to submit a Voluntary Release within the CAF. Knowing that we were in the middle of a pandemic and Christmas leave was upon us (mid NOV at this time), I knew I could have been waiting for a while. Just like any eager individual, I wanted to start my new career as soon as possible. Again, the H2H team went above and beyond. He worked with the Union who supplied me with a Letter of employment. Being Vets themselves help tremendously as they understand the process and how the CAF works. The civilian workforce often does not understand the lengthy process for one to release from the CAF. Thanks to their efforts of the H2H team, I was able to attach that letter of employment to my memo and my 30-day release was fulfilled. I released the 17th of December 2021. My first day of employment as a Mobile Crane Operator apprentice was December 22nd 2021. These guys deserve the credit. Whether you are looking to start and apprenticeship or just work. I strongly recommend contacting H2H. They are there, they put in the work, they have the contacts and the experience to get it done."
"My experience with H2H was very deliberate. Dave, one of H2H representative was very informative and helpful throughout the process. Within weeks of applying I was offered an apprenticeship in general carpentry with local 27. Without H2H this whole process wouldn't been easy. I highly recommend members of CF who are trying to find a career in trades to sign up through H2H."
"Before finding out about H2H I was a little lost where to advance my career and gain experience. I want to learn new skills and carry it on through out my adult years. After discovering H2H and going through the process, Dave made it clear to me that there are opportunities out there. Thanks to H2H and the recommendation from Dave and Mike Humphries (local veteran liaison representative) I now have a path to further learn new experiences and skill with the UBC local 27 here in Toronto."
"Leaving the army, even after the short time I was in, is challenging. Helmets to Hardhats helped me seek meaningful employment. With communication that we could only dream to have had in the army."
"After leaving the army I struggled to find meaningful employment. I signed up for helmets to hardhats and within a matter of weeks I had a choice of apprenticeships with two different unions, despite not having any related experience. I am now an apprentice with Millwrights Local 2309 and have since been working and learning many new skills in an excellent career. I would like to thank helmets to hardhats for opening these doors for me and all of their great help. Once again a big thank you to you guys! I have been telling all of my old army friends that are thinking about getting out about you and trying to work hard in order to positively reflect on the helmets to hardhats program."
"I was looking for work. The Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) program found me a career. Within a few weeks of registering to the H2H program, I was given the names of three trades I could join. I completed safety courses shortly after that, and was working immediately after that. The H2H staff is always reachable to answer any questions during the application/registration process, and even after finding work. Thanks for the opportunity Helmets to Hardhats."
"I just wanted to take the time to give a big thank you to Helmets to Hardhats Canada. I was in the CAF for 7 years and I participated in the H2H program and secured a career in the Boilermakers Local 128 . I’m currently a 2nd year apprentice and finished my first block of schooling at Humber College. I speak highly of the program to my friends that are still in the Army and looking to get out. Have a great day and keep up the good work!"
"Helmets to Hardhats is possibly the single best veterans program being run in Canada right now. After becoming a member of Helmets to Hardhats they provided me the opportunity to learn a skilled trade and maintain self-worth and dignity. I would recommend Helmets to Hardhats to all veterans feeling lost in the woods with their transition to civilian life, they can change your life. Throughout this process I have been connected with key people in the trades industry and am now a member of the Iron workers Local 700, utilizing the adaptability, strength, and determination learned in the Canadian Forces in a new way."
"I was recommended to work with the team at Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) while attempting to enter the trades industry for civilian employment. The representatives of H2H contacted me promptly and began to assist me with energy in securing me with a job and provided valuable career guidance. It was impressive how rapid the H2H team communicated and provided prudent feedback while transitioning to civilian job markets. Thank you very much."
"I truly appreciate everything you did for me. It was an amazing feeling to receive that phone call and get offered the position I've been working so hard to get. H2H was a very straightforward and very efficient organization to work with. Thank you all so much!"
"I love it! It's an awesome organization that helps transition veterans into the construction industry. It's given me leverage on other applicants despite my lack of experience in the field. Adapting from a law enforcement background to construction was smooth thanks to helmets to hard hats. I recommend this program to any veteran looking for another great working opportunity. Thank you helmets to hard hats & god bless you guys for giving me this opportunity. I am very greatful."
"My name is Nik and I recently got out of the CF. I applied to Helmets to Hardhats in order to help me join a local union for work. I was approved in very quick time and the union was able to get my information very fast and expedite my application because of this. Helmets to Hardhats has helped me out at a time when I needed it the most and I am very glad such a program exists. Every veteran getting out of the CF should apply to them immediately!"
"I would like to sincerely thank the Helmets to Hardhats organization for helping me start a fulfilling career as a Millwright Apprentice. I greatly appreciate the dedicated work you provide for the Canadian Forces members to transition into the trades. I would recommend Helmets to Hardhats to all members leaving the Canadian Forces interested in the trades. Thank you H2H."
"I sent the Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons International Association an e-mail with a cover letter and resume, and explained that I was In the Helmets to Hardhats program and that I am in the military. A couple hours later I got a call and they offered me a job to start on Monday. I have workplace safety training this weekend before I start. Best part about it is that it is right here in Windsor so I don't have to move. I just wanted to inform you because you have helped me out so much through the process and I really appreciate it. Thanks again"
"After almost 12 years on the gun line, long nights in the coordination centre and even longer months away from home, my family and I needed a change. H2H Canada assisted in finding an amazing career as a Steamfitter-Pipefitter with UA Local 488 and I appreciate being a recipient of the St Eloi Scholarship award. Their continued support throughout my apprenticeship lets my employer know that selecting a former member of the Canadian Forces to get the job done benefits them with a well trained tradesperson, and contributes to their overall success on the project."
"My name is Brett and during a difficult time, during the Novel Corona Virus. H2H was able to facilitate multiple job opportunities for me. They were consistently available to answer all my questions, and assist in an eventual hire with the Ironworkers union (local 765) in Ottawa. Thank you for your continued assistance and all your hard work to assist us veteran. Again thank you very much."
"I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to you and Helmets to Hardhats a such a noble organization. I can’t thank you guys enough."
"Thank you for your support! I wish you all the best to all of you as well and will tell every veteran I know about your organization and the wonderful work that you accomplish for us."
"Thanks to you guys at H2H I have made a smooth transition operating a Grader with North American Construction. I'm very impressed with how fast transition happened. I was working within weeks of applying, I should have signed up with Helmets to Hardhats sooner."
"I would like to thank Mike and his team for the transition from military to a trade. We all know it is hard enough leaving the military and trying to find a right fit and work place. I have just recently joined Local 67 Plumbing and Pipefitter in Hamilton Ontario and it's the first time since I have retired from the military that I feel like I belong. I would recommend helmets to hard hats for any military personnel who is leaving the military. The union is a brother hood very close to the one we all know in the military. Once again thanks very much and I look forward to my new career."
"I want to thank you Helmets to Hardhats for giving me the opportunity to start a new career in the Elevator Constructor Union . I'm a military veteran that has been out of the forces for a few years but looking for a major change in my civilian career. Without H2H and their established contacts with the unions my options would have been severely limited. I cannot thank Normand, H2H, and all the unions that support this program enough!"
"I am very pleased with the help I received from the H2H staff. I released from the military and I traveled for a bit. Once I returned to Ontario I contacted H2H to assist me in starting a career in a trade. H2H assisted me by getting my resume out there and finding the career that I was interested in. In just 4 months from contacting the H2H team, I have started my apprenticeship and am well on my way to a new career with the Boilermakers ."
"I am very grateful for receiving the St Eloi Scholarship . The UA and H2H has been a huge support for me in this career change, and I am very happy to see the industry's respect and support for veterans and reservists. The Sprinkler Apprenticeship is a well designed program and I am learning something new everyday. I also take pride in knowing that the system I helped install may save lives in the event of a fire. Thank you all again for supporting me."
"It's a great program definitely helps guys transition into civilian life. I think it needs to be talked more about to guys getting out of the military because I had to find out myself."
"I was recently hired by the OIFSC through an H2H opportunity. I would like to thank everyone in the program who makes these opportunities possible and vouches for military personnel. It quickly became apparent in the first interview that someone in your organization had personally handed the director of the OIFSC (Ontario Industrial and Finishing Skills Centre) my resume and given a recommendation. Please feel free to use my example as a positive testimonial for the program. Equally, please feel free to contact me to help promote the program, as I will be doing so to my peers within the Reg and PRes forces. Thanks again very much from my wife and I and have a great day."
"I would just like to thank H2H for helping my find a new career with Local 853 Sprinkler Fitters of Ontario . The process to getting in was pretty, simple with a little patience, and after completing my orientation and working at heights training, I was out on a work site within a week. I can honestly say I was completely unaware of sprinkler and fire protection as a career option and it was all thanks to H2H and Local 853 for being supportive of them. After a few years of unsuccessful searching for a new career before H2H's support, it is extremely refreshing to find an employer who understands the benefits of hiring a previous members of the Canadian Armed Forces.Thanks again!"
"After completing the 24 hour seminar and test, I am now eligible for employment within the elevator union . I would not have had access to such a promising career in this field if it weren't for you and your organization. I hope I can continue down this path and one day "pay it forward" the big helping hand you've given me."
"As a former Electrical & Mechanical Engineering officer in the midst of completing a Masters of Engineering Management degree, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that H2H was able to help me, as I thought the program was only for opportunities in the skilled trades. In fact, Greg quickly introduced me to several promising companies and key HR folks involved with hiring. His calm, reassuring manner as well as his contacts & suggestions resulted in me getting an excellent position as a Project Engineer with TransCanada Corporation . Having not had much luck on my own despite sending out many applications, it was a great relief to have this level of support. Thanks!!!"
"I would like to thank you for the opportunity that you have provided me with. The class that I attended consisted of 89 people. Four of those attendants were from Helmets to Hardhats, a few were from a program called "hammerheads" and the rest were comprised of the individuals that had attended the IUEC Local 50 in January 2014. The individuals that had attended the union local in January were lined up at the local from as early as 02:00HRS and approximately 900 people had attended in hopes of gaining the opportunity that I had gained through Helmets to Hardhats. Those 900 people had to attend and be interviewed. So needless to say, for someone like me to have been contacted to give me the heads up for this seminar, provide me with information and simply request a resume and cover letter, Helmets to Hardhats really made a difference. In terms of the seminar, it was great! All the instructors had tremendous amounts of insight and experience to share. The safety course provided me with all the details regarding the duties and safety measures required in order to be successful within the trade. It's a challenging trade, and they made us all very well aware of it. Right off the bat, they told us that now that we're in this program, upon completion of the safety seminar, we will be waiting for the call to start the apprenticeship, which could be as little as a days notice. Essentially, we are a part of the union as they are the ones doing all the legwork for us. After a year in the program, we will be sworn in to the Union as a member. In terms of work and education, chances are that we'd be working as elevator apprentices within the construction site atmosphere for a great portion of our apprenticeship career. The theoretical portion of the apprenticeship takes place one day a week for about 4 hours at a time over the span of the 4-5 years. The pay and benefits are excellent and continue to increase throughout the apprenticeship. So once again, as I've said before, Helmets to Hardhats has provided me with an immense opportunity to begin a new career path and I really appreciate the assistance that the H2H team has provided me with."
"To introduce myself, I have been employed through the Teamster Union 855 for the past three years working on the HEBRON project, through the Helmets to Hardhats program. Prior to that, I served faithfully for 34 years in the Canadian Armed Forces. I’ve been deployed to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. I left the military having been diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). That did not deter the above agencies from accepting me and helping me gain employment into this project. It aided me socially, financially, but most importantly mentally. It gave me a renewed sense of purpose. I was allowed to be part of something much bigger than myself. The project provided a regimented work schedule (something I had missed), and allowed me to again be a part of a team. The ship has now sailed; the HEBRON oil platform has departed Bull Arm NL, headed for the HEBRON oil field. The construction phase of this endeavor is now complete. I was very fortunate to be part of this journey. There are too many people to thank, but I would be remiss if I did not mention at least a few: Dave Pearce, past-president Teamsters NL; Justin Haddock, SSH Manager, ExxonMobil; Kim Keating, Project Manager, NE-AL; Gail Hickey, Diversity-Lead, WorleyParsons-Fluor; Michelle Wadman, NE-AL (my mentor) and last but not least; The whole crew in the BAHW (Bull Arm Heated Warehouse). Thank you all for the opportunity."
"Thanks again to Mike and Marie and the rest of your team for all your hard work giving me this great opportunity to try a new avenue in life. I am extremely grateful. The H2H program is definitely helping veterans and not just paying lip service. I am very optimistic that others like me will have a smooth transition from army to civilian life and available means of employment when they leave the army all thanks to the H2H program so on my behalf you have my deepest gratitude. The safety course was very informative and I left there with a good sense of the job I will be performing, and how to conduct it in a safe manner the staff that weekend were very passionate and knowledgeable about the industry and really seemed to genuinely care that everyone left there with something. The subject matter was pertinent to the job and industry and was presented well, just not in the sequence I was accustomed to in the army some points covered seemed to be just touched on then where elaborated more into detail later in the course when in my mind it would have been simpler to just expand on that topic right then and there teaching it as a whole complete module. All in all the course was lengthy but very informative and worthwhile; the staff were all approachable and had a great wealth of job knowledge."
"Just wanted to say thank you for getting me onto the elevator safety course . The instructors seemed to hold all of the military guys from the helmets to hardhats program in high regard and commented on how they enjoyed working with us as apprentices because we show up on time, and do the job with no complaints."
"When I left the CF, I more or less felt lost. I was told that I should try to get into the trades. I looked around at the job ads and i found an ad for the UA. I went to the UA local 488 hall and filled out an application. One of the questions on the application was "have you served in the armed forces?" when i checked that box the whole world of the building trades was opened up to me. I soon after received a phone call from one of the Business Agents named Kevin Morin.He told me that there was work available if i wanted it, and offered me a spot. Around 3 months later I was sworn in to the Union. I am now staring my 2nd year as a Steamfitter/Pipefitter and am also a member of UA local 488,and so completely grateful for everything Helmets to Hardhats and Local 488 have given me. And I have passed on my experience of this with my military peers that there is still a light at the end of the tunnel. Thank you again!"
"I was nearing my release date in April 2014 and I was looking to get into a good paying trade where I could potentially apply some of the skills I learned while working on CF-18 aircraft as an air weapons tech. I stumbled upon helmets to hardhats and immediately applied to jobs that I thought would be well suited. I was contacted by UA Local 663 Business manager and was offered a job. I spoke to him on the phone and told me to call him back when I was closer to my release date. I called him within a week of my release and he told me that if I showed up on Monday there would be work for me after I had completed some of the mandatory paid training needed to work in the chemical valley in Sarnia. I got there on the Monday and was taking my paid training on the Wednesday and by the Wednesday the next week I was working. This program has been fantastic in linking up veterans with good unionized jobs, and I had a chance to work with several other H2H veterans in Chemical Valley. I hope that this program will continue to support veterans as they transition in to the civilian work place for years to come, as it has been so supportive."
" Teamsters Local 879 has hired me through the H2H's program. The pay and benefits are truly amazing to say the least.Please accept my gratitude for all your efforts. I look forward to this career and your program made this happen quickly."
"When I was medically released from the Military I was in the midst of what seemed like a career which would take me right through to the retirement age of 60. Therefore, I had never considered any other type of career path or employment, and I was certainly at a loss as to how I could continue to provide for my family. Fortunately, during the early stages of my search for a new career, I happened upon Helmets to Hardhats (H2H). Initially, I called te office with the presumption that H2H was meant to offer positions solely within the trades and that I would not find anything suited to my most recent training as a project manager. However, after speaking with staff and outlining my desire to move into such a position within the Oil and Energy industry, I felt extremely confident that the H2H group would be helpful in pointing me in the right direction. Within a matter of a few weeks I was contacted by H2H staff and he gave me the names of several important connections within the industry, and he told me that he had spoken with them and that those people were interested in hiring an ex-Military member such as me. I made the calls to those contacts and within a matter of days I was given the offer to work as a member of the planning team for a group in the Alberta Oil Sands . Ultimately, I believe that H2H went far beyond what most job search units would have done and that allowed me to garner some fantastic employment opportunities. Clearly, for those of us who are seeking post-service employment within both the trades and managerial positions, having H2H on our side makes our chances of finding viable employment much greater."
"I finally got a call from the elevator union . I am making a good salary and I am really enjoying my new career. I just wanted to thank you guys for all the help along the way and let you know I think you guys have a great program going here and I hope you can place more people into the workforce."
"My hat goes off to you, you really helped me out. I had an interview today with UA Local 71 and I was accepted for an apprenticeship position as a plumber starting Aug 4th. They were very up front about being on board with Helmets to Hardhats, and more or less said,"We want you, let us know when you're available." I will be picking up my letter of offer on Monday.Going to see Helmets to Hardhats was one of the best moves I've ever made, and one of the most helpful organizations I've ever been in contact with."
"Everything is going well. The whole process from applying online to being accepted in a position with the union was pretty straight forward. I appreciate the opportunity H2H has given me to transition into a new career. My previous military background has allowed me to hit the ground running and pick up new skills easily. I would recommend the Sprinkler and Fire Protection trade and Local 853 for any veteran. I received my safety training through the union and was to work the next day."
"August 2012 I received my copy of Salute. The article on Helmets to Hardhats got my attention - since I was in my first year welding in college, and I was anxious to get started in a new career. I thought it couldn't hurt my prospect for employment if I gave them a call. Just to let you know, I am closer to retirement age than I am just starting out with my whole life ahead of me. Meanwhile living in the Maritimes where there is limited work and if work comes along it is seasonal. Also I knew employers prefer to hire younger workers - it was going to be a struggle to obtain employment in the Maritimes as a welder. I had over 100 resumes sent out to potential employers across Canada, and only received one call back. I informed those employers that I was willing to relocate, and I had experience galore working in the construction trade, and building environment. That is why the Helmets to Hardhats program got my attention and calling and speaking with their staff was one of the best things I ever did. H2H staff immediately sent me an e-mail listing of available trades which I could choose from (there were a lot). However, I stuck to my chosen career and picked welder. H2H got back to me within days and informed me of a potential employer in Alberta. I sent my resume and within a week I had a welder apprenticeship position within a major company in Alberta. By the first week of September I had moved from my home in the Maritimes to Alberta. Luckily my wife and I were in the position to relocate. My wife stayed behind and put the home up for sale, arranged for a moving company and joined me in Alberta in October. We have not looked back. I encourage all veterans to reap the benefits of this tremendous program. H2H staff was more than helpful, and truly went out of their way to get me started on my new life and career. I cannot express how easy it was, and how quickly the process moved along. I am currently in my first year of as a welder apprentice and the pay is great, and I was also indoctrinated into the local Union recently (even more of a benefit). Everyone involved from the military to the people within the Union and company have been more than helpful and encouraging. Take the leap and contact Helmets to Hardhats. You will not regret it. Thanks again."
"After contacting H2H to learn more I was placed in contact with a rep with the UA Union (Local 488) in Edmonton. The rep (Bill Johnston - a vet himself) was simply amazing for all his help, and also understood the challenges I was experiencing with my transition out of the CF into the civilian workforce. He was really informative, truly looked after me, and found me a position with the pipe fitter trade... all in record time! My release from the CF was on 14 April, and I was able to commence work the very next day. If it was not for all the support that I received from Bill and Greg, I would probably still be looking for work. Instead, I now have a great opportunity to move forward in this trade to make an excellent new career!! I would like to thank these guys and the members of Local 488 for giving me this opportunity. It is a great feeling to know that there are people like them out there who care enough to give someone like me such amazing support during such a stressful period of change. Thanks ever so much from my family and I. It would be my pleasure to now help other vets if I can."
Phone (613) 238-2300
Toll-free: (855) 238-9707
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Ottawa, ON K1S 1V9
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