Every year more than 300,000 men and women are discharged from the military. For many, making a successful transition back into the civilian workforce can be trying. On top of facing the challenges all job seekers experience such as updating resumes, networking and completing applications, veterans have the added stress of translating skills learned in the military into applicable skills civilian employers can understand, making the process feel impossible.
Helmets to Hardhats was established in 2003 to help ease this military-to-civilian work force transition. The nonprofit program 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.
Veterans working in the building and construction trades makes sense. Both careers require hard work, physical and mental toughness, adverse working conditions, and the ability to work as a member of a highly interdependent team. In fact, 6.9% of all blue collar construction workers are veterans, compared to 5.8% of the overall workforce. And in Minnesota, veterans make up 9.6% of the construction workforce!
But often times veterans need more support than just a comparable job. That’s where the union comes in. Veterans and blue collar union workers often share similar values – team work, high quality standards, and serving their community. Given this, Helmets to Hardhats makes the path toward becoming a union member pretty simple. The federally approved apprenticeship program comes at zero cost for veterans and allows them to use their Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits during the paid apprenticeship program, ensuring an appropriate standard of living. The three to five-year apprenticeship programs provide all the necessary training and hands-on education so veterans can learn with no prior experience required.
More than 80 unique apprenticeship programs are available through Helmet to Hardhats in the construction industry, which offers an annual salary higher than the national average.
To learn more about Helmets to Hardhats, visit their website: http://www.helmetstohardhats.org/