Ontario Construction News staff writer
Helmets to Hardhats Canada will use funding from Ontario’s Skills Development Fund to build on a decade of success and help more Canadian veterans transition into construction careers.
In partnership with Canada’s Building Trades Unions, Helmets to Hardhats has to date referred over 2,500 clients to opportunities into apprenticeships and direct hires in Canada’s construction industry.
New funding will support a unique collaboration between Helmets to Hardhats, Fanshawe College, Loyalist College and Point Release Education to continue an initiative that 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.
“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,” said Brother David Lynch, executive director, Good Shepherd Ministries. “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 well-paying careers in the construction industry, Helmets to Hardhats is giving dignity, structure, and hope to Veterans on the streets.”