Ontario Construction News staff writer
On behalf of building trade construction unions and contractor partners, the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) has donated $100,000 to assist Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) aid in streamlining the pathways to apprenticeships, advanced training and career placement opportunities in the construction industry for the men and women who have served our country. Helmets to Hardhats is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting veterans who are transitioning from military service, and active reservists, into second careers in the skilled trades.
“Veterans, reservists and senior cadets are an invaluable asset to the skilled trades and we are delighted to be able to donate $100,000 on behalf of building trade construction unions and their contractor partners working in the industrial, commercial, and institutional sector,” said OCS board of directors president Joe Keyes said in a statement on Tuesday. “The Helmets to Hardhats organization is providing opportunities to military men and women who served Canada with distinction as they transition to civilian life.”
Brent Dewell, Carpenters Local 27, is just one example of how H2H has helped veterans. Dewell is a field engineer in the Canadian military and has always been interested in carpentry but never knew how to approach it. He decided to call a union representative from Local 27, who was also a veteran, and explained to him how his skills would transfer into the trades. Dewell was quickly put in touch with H2H and has been working as a carpentry apprentice, since April, with a schedule that allows him time to spend with his family and make a great income.
“These individuals deserve our respect and have proven over the years that they are more than competent skilled trades people. The OCS trusts that this contribution will greatly assist the goals of this valuable organization,” says OCS chief executive officer Robert Bronk.