Helmets to Hardhats is a national, nonprofit program that connects National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. The program is designed to help military service members successfully transition back into civilian life by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the construction industry.
Most career opportunities offered by the program are connected to federally-approved apprenticeship training programs. Such training is provided by the trade organizations themselves at no cost to the veteran. No prior experience is needed; in fact, most successful placements start with virtually no experience in their chosen field. All participating trade organizations conduct three to five year earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship training programs that teach service members everything they need to know to become a construction industry professional with a specialization in a particular craft. And, because these apprenticeship programs are regulated and approved at both federal and state levels, veterans can utilize their Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits to supplement their income while they are learning valuable skills and on the job training.
In 2007, Helmets to Hardhats supplemented its existing program with a disabled American veteran program known as the “Wounded Warrior” program, which serves to connect disabled veterans with employment opportunities in the construction industry and the careers that support construction.
Making a successful transition from the military into the civilian workforce can be difficult. Transitioning military veterans face the same challenges as any other job hunter – getting their résumé to the right people, learning how to sell themselves, tracking down promising leads, following-up with employers, headhunters, job placement agencies… etc. Not many people are comfortable with this process and veterans have the added stress of trying to translate the skills they learned in the military into language that civilian employers can understand. The process can feel overwhelming, especially if it seems like meaningful help is unavailable.
Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) was formed for this reason and is dedicated to helping National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military members connect to quality career and training opportunities in one of America’s most challenging and rewarding industries – the construction industry.
Most experienced job seekers understand that utilizing personal networks (networking) is a much more effective way of securing a quality career than simply looking online or going through newspaper ads. Although H2H is a Web-based program that requires online registration and provides career postings, what sets it apart from other initiatives is that H2H employees, and the dedicated volunteers that work with us, take an active role in connecting veterans to outstanding career and training opportunities. At the end of the day, having an informed advocate on your side who knows where you need to go, who you need to talk and can help facilitate the hiring process makes all the difference in the world to serious job seekers interested in securing a rewarding career in construction.
To participate in H2H, simply visit the program’s Web site at www.helmetstohardhats.org and click the “Get Started” button to create and activate your profile. Once your profile is activated, you can browse hundreds of career and training opportunities and forward your profile to career providers electronically from the H2H site. If you have questions about a career in the Trades; don’t see the career you’re interested in or have questions about the application process, call us at 866.741.6210.
H2H was conceived in 2002 and established in 2003.
Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment and Veterans Employment (CMRAVE) administers the H2H program. CMRAVE is a non-profit Section 501(c)(3) joint labor-management committee established under Section 302(c)(9) of the Labor Management Relations Act. Funding and support come from private foundations, employers, employer associations and unions.
Eligibility varies based on the standards set by each individual career provider. You must be at least 18 years of age, have an honorable discharge, have a high school diploma or equivalent, pass a drug test and complete a formal interview.
H2H makes the connection between the career providers and the candidates that apply for their career opportunities. Some of the listings on the H2H Web site are for apprenticeship training opportunities and others are for careers with public and private employers.
Yes, H2H has a variety of careers listed on its Web site. Many employers list several types of construction-related career opportunities for H2H program users, including administrative, engineering and management positions.
An apprenticeship is a mixture of classroom instruction and on-the-job training. Similar to a traditional college, you would spend around four years receiving instruction and then graduate to become a Journeyman. Often times, you can get credit from your military experience to enter at an advanced level. You also get paid apprentice-level wages for your work while you are on the job, which rise as your level of experience and training increases.
Going from a helmet to a hardhat is a great opportunity for many of the 250,000 to 300,000 men and women discharged from the military every year. The construction industry offers an annual salary higher than the overall national average and more than 80 unique apprenticeship programs. Also, as a veteran, if you start out in the construction industry as an apprentice, you can earn while you learn. That means you will receive a paycheck as well as your G.I. Bill benefits to cover general living expenses during your apprenticeship training.
H2H is not a union-only program but we require employers to participate in proven apprenticeship training programs that are registered and approved by applicable federal and state authorities. In addition, we seek to ensure that transitioning veterans are provided with wages and benefits that allow them to maintain an appropriate standard of living in the community where the career is located.
The goal of the program is to provide opportunities for transitioning veterans to obtain the necessary training in a particular craft in order to obtain a quality career in the construction industry, not just a one-time job until the end of a particular project.
H2H encourages all responsible employers who have construction-related career opportunities to apply for acceptance into our program.
Employers that are members of the H2H-approved contracting associations will register and have immediate access to advertise opportunities online. Employers that are not members must meet certain criteria before they can advertise trade opportunities on the H2H Web site. These criteria include access to a quality and federally-recognized registered apprentice program, a permanent system to ensure employment and training opportunities, formal curriculum and instructor training programs, related training and an on-the-job training program, an affirmative action program, and a positive record of caring for the welfare of workers as evidenced by health insurance, pension benefits and workers’ compensation coverage.
Employers who want to advertise construction-related employment opportunities must ensure that they provide wages and benefits in keeping with the high standards of the other member employers. If, at any time, H2H is notified that an employer is not advertising acceptable opportunities, the employer will be removed from the H2H system.
Third party vendors cannot use the H2H website to advertise opportunities.
Interested companies are encouraged to register at http://recruiter.helmetstohardhats.org/.
Employers who qualify for the H2H program gain access to a pool of construction industry career seekers who are hardworking, drug-free, safety-conscience and highly dependable.
Also, the H2H Web site provides many great tools for employers to help them locate career seekers who have special skills. Do you need someone with underwater welding experience? Would you like to interview a military EMT with frontline field experience who is now considering a civilian career in Construction Safety and Health? H2H candidates possess specialized training, hands-on experience and professional discipline that you simply cannot find in the regular workforce.
All H2H career seekers are required to fill out detailed information before accessing the site, making it easy to eliminate inappropriate candidates based on career specifications and to locate candidates with desired skills. The Web site also offers a letter creation tool to easily communicate with qualified applicants and an opt-in email feature that will send resumes that meet your specific criteria directly to your inbox.
After posting a career, employers can also adjust the criteria to increase or decrease the number of applications they are receiving. Employers can choose to just receive resumes, career seeker’s screening answers, or a screening score in the subject of the email.
Federally-recognized joint labor-management apprenticeship programs are high-quality, well-resourced training programs that are accredited by Regional Education Certifying Councils and Boards. This educational certification is what qualifies the apprenticeship program for the use of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, the Montgomery G.I. Bill or various state, National Guard or Reserve educational funding programs. These educational benefits, and some state programs, normally pay qualified apprentices a monthly stipend in addition to their earned wages. Rates will vary depending on type of service and length of training. The current rates can be found at www.gibill.va.gov.
Because we refer candidates to career providers and refer career providers to candidates – without doing the actual hiring – it is impossible to know of everyone who has been hired. However, we do request placement information from our career providers and receive many calls from veterans thanking us for connecting them to great new career. Since 2007, we’ve confirmed the successful placements of almost 6,000 military veterans into quality careers in the building and construction trades via the H2H program.
A wide variety of career opportunities are listed on our Web site; therefore, we cannot say how much you will be paid. Your career provider determines your pay. However, H2H works diligently to list only careers that offer family-supporting wages and benefits.
The pace of the hiring process is determined by the career provider. We do suggest that you follow-up with the career provider after forwarding your profile to ensure receipt and to get further instructions on how the application process works.
The implementation of a statewide direct entry program gives former and active military personnel the opportunity to quickly start quality construction careers soon after they apply for them through H2H. Once the state proclamation is signed, it allows all JATCs and locals (at their discretion) to immediately accept these men and women into their apprenticeship programs and provide them with credit for their military training and experience. Direct entry language can also be implemented on an individual local level. Currently, 30 states have issued an official proclamation or declaration supporting the H2H Direct Entry Program.
The program is open to all service members regardless of rank, but because most of the positions on our Web site are apprenticeship opportunities, more enlisted personnel have joined the H2H program. Nevertheless, a quick review of the H2H career listings will show that we also provide many construction-related professional careers that are well-suited for transitioning officers.
H2H is not a placement company. We refer candidates to quality career providers and refer quality career providers to qualified candidates. To apply for a career posting or entry into an apprenticeship program, H2H program users must complete a comprehensive profile that helps hiring managers and training directors determine what transferable skills they acquired during their military service. Prior to acceptance into the trades, candidates often are required to take an aptitude test to assess their skill level.
CAREER VS. JOB
Are you looking for a job, or are you looking for a career? If you’re looking for a career, you’re in the right place. Helmets to Hardhats places quality men and women from the Armed Forces into promising building and construction careers.
Acceptance into the building and construction trades is your first step to a great future. Careers in these trades enable you to earn while you learn and get rewarded for hard work. Being a member in the building and construction trades entitles you to competitive salaries with consistent raises, pension plans, excellent medical benefits and flexibility when it comes to taking time off.
Most candidates will enter an apprenticeship program where they learn a trade through on-the-job training supplemented by classroom instruction at state-of-the-art training facilities. Typically, there is no charge for the training and you will be paid for the time you are working. The pay you receive from an employer can be supplemented by education benefits under the G.I. Bill, adding hundreds more dollars each month to your take home pay. An apprentice’s pay increases periodically over the course of the job, and as the apprentice becomes more skilled. Many apprenticeship programs have arrangements allowing individuals to obtain college credit for classroom work. Upon graduation, you will become a journeyman — a craftsperson recognized for his or her knowledge and ability in the selected trade. In some cases your military experience can give you credit towards journeyman status and allow you to enter an apprenticeship program at an advanced level or be classified as a journeyman immediately.
BENEFITS OF JOINING A CERTIFIED APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM
• High pay, great medical insurance and some of the best pension plans in the nation.
• High quality training at well-resourced training centers that are recognized by Regional Education Certifying Councils and Boards.
• Use your Montgomery GI Bill or other veteran educational benefits.
• Earn while you learn. Receive on the job training and get top notch classroom instruction.
ABOUT VETERANS IN PIPING
The Veterans in Piping (VIP) program offers high-quality skills training and jobs in the pipe trades to US veterans and active duty military personnel preparing to leave the service. UA General President William P. Hite established the program as a means of addressing two important issues: 1. A growing shortage in the construction industry of skilled workers due to the combined effects of an aging workforce, increased demand, and lack of skills training for youth; and 2. An exceedingly high unemployment rate for US veterans, despite their being a disciplined and highly trainable population.
Military and government officials have lauded VIP as a model in workforce development. Participants enroll in accelerated 18-week courses in welding and/or HVACR service, both fields experiencing an increased demand for skilled workers. They also earn industry-recognized certifications as a part of their education. Upon graduation, VIPs gain direct entry into UA apprenticeship, leading to lifelong career opportunities. All training is paid for entirely by the UA and its industry partners at NO cost to participants. For more information visit the UA’s website at http://www.uavip.org/.
Helmets to Hardhats recognizes the supreme sacrifice that our Veterans have made for this country. The Wounded Warrior program supports disabled Veterans by providing the tools, information and community that will help Veterans gain careers in the Building and Construction Trades. Disabled Veterans may apply for and demonstrate their ability to perform any job listed on the Helmets to Hardhats website. However, the Wounded Warrior program lists construction careers that employers have specifically identified as potentially suitable for disabled veterans.
Find links to Veterans benefits, resources and support.
For 24/7 family support, contact:
Military Severely Injured Center
DCoE Outreach Center For Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury
Find Valuable Information on these Government Sites:
o GI Bill
o VA Loans
o PTSD Support
o Health Care
o Military OneSource (Call: 1-800-342-9647)
o Military Homefront
o Job Accommodations
o Vocational Rehabilitation