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Helmets to Hardhats: Turning Military Skills into Civilian Success

written by: Helmets to Hardhats

Helmets to Hardhats (H2H), established in 2012, supports Canadian Armed Forces members and their families transitioning to civilian life by facilitating their entry into Canada's Building Trades Unions. We are committed to honouring Veterans' service by ensuring they find rewarding second careers. This ongoing dedication underscores H2H's mission as we prioritize the military community's transition to civilian employment and success year-round.

By partnering with Canada's 14 Building Trades Unions, we open doors to various opportunities in 60+ occupations within the skilled trades for our military-affiliated clients. We ensure our clients receive the recognition they deserve with the highest industry wages, health benefits, and pension plans. More than that, Canada's Building Trades Unions offer structured training and career development pathways, including apprenticeships and ongoing educational and skill upgrading. This commitment to continuous growth and advancement ensures that our clients can look forward to a future filled with possibilities in their chosen trade. 

Not only are our clients entering a second career with stability and a clear trajectory for career growth, fostering job satisfaction and long-term success, but they are also entering an industry at an all-time high for skilled, trained and reliable employees. It is estimated that the construction industry needs to recruit 299,200 new workers by 2032 to keep pace with industry needs. H2H recognizes the unique and versatile skills Veterans possess – such as leadership, discipline, and technical proficiencies – our program supports the integration of the military community by offering career placements and emphasizing the value added by a Veteran in the skilled trades. 

The Helmets to Hardhats program prides itself on being inclusive to all Veterans, embracing all diverse military backgrounds, specialties and experiences. The program helps the military community transition their unique skills into successful civilian careers by offering tailored Veteran to Veteran support and resources. Helmets to Hardhats honours the personal stories of each Veteran while ensuring their skills are valued in the skilled trades. 

For your service and sacrifices, we give back by ensuring your access to rewarding career opportunities in Canada's unionized construction industry through Helmets to Hardhats.


Eric M participated in Army Cadets, before joining the Canadian Armed Forces as a RCEME Materials Technician. Upon completion of training he was posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment (1 RCR) in Petawawa, Ontario. Shortly after his departure from the military a fellow Veteran shared their experience working with Helmets to Hardhats as a valuable resource in pursuing civilian employment in the skilled trades. With the support of H2H, Eric completed safety training courses and will be returning to school in Mechanical Techniques - Millwright Program where he will begin his next mission of achieving his Red Seal in welding. 

Helmets to Hardhats Outreach Advisor Dave G along side Dave V, former armoured soldier now employed in the skilled trades. Helmets to Hardhats career advisors are constantly attending trade shows to promote the value added by a Veteran and to militay events where they can connect with the military community. 

Chris C was an Ammunition Tech in the military before releasing and transitioning into a Boilermaker. In 2023, Chris was recognized as a Top Boilermaker Apprentice before completing his apprenticeship hours and qualifications to become a journeyman Boilermaker. As a journeyman, Chris now has additional responsibilities and elite licensing to work in the trades. 

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