Helmets to Hardhats joins forces with Aboriginal Veterans Autoctones

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Helmets to Hardhats Canada and Aboriginal Veterans Autochtones (AVA) are joining forces with a memorandum of understanding they say will ensure Indigenous veterans across Canada are aware of careers available in the skilled trades.

Helmets to Hardhats is a national non-profit organization that supports the Canadian military community in finding meaningful careers in the skilled trades. AVA, meanwhile, is a nationally incorporated organization that represents the interests of Canadian Aboriginal veterans and serves members of Aboriginal descent.

“Supporting Indigenous military members transition to careers in the skilled trades is critical to advancing reconciliation and diversifying Canada’s workforce,” said James Hogarth, executive director at Helmets to Hardhats Canada. “By fulfilling this memorandum of understanding, we are committing to a shared vision of providing rewarding careers, increasing employment rates, and filling skills shortages across Canada by promoting pathways into Canada’s Building Trade Unions.”

Throughout the month of June, Canada recognizes and celebrates the history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people across Canada. It is a chance for us to reflect on the past and work towards a brighter future based on reconciliation. Goals include ensuring Indigenous veterans are employed at the same rate as the rest of the country.

The H2H AVA partnership was formalized under the previous Helmets to Hardhats executive director, Joe Maloney who retired last month.

Helmets to Hardhats is a national non-profit organization that supports the Canadian military community in finding meaningful careers in the skilled trades. AVA is a nationally incorporated organization that represents the interests of Canadian Aboriginal Veterans and serves members of Aboriginal descent.

The organiations “are committed to creating awareness campaigns and promoting our services, including a streamlined process into the unionized construction industry, educational upgrading and training opportunities for all Ontario-based veterans.”

With the help of AVA, H2H will ensure that outreach resonates and spurs participation with Indigenous military communities, diversifying the workforce and providing rewarding career opportunities.

Providing employment opportunities is one way to aid veterans’ successful transition into civilian life. By providing financial stability and reducing the pressure of finding well-paying, meaningful employment, Veterans can quickly become autonomous in meeting their hierarchy of needs.

“As part of our mission to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis Veterans and their families, we look forward to working closely with H2H to help our Veterans find meaningful second careers with organizations that employ skilled trades people,” said Robert Thibeau, president of AVA. “This should prove relatively seamless for Veterans who are already trained in Red Seals trades, while also opening up opportunities for other roles in these organizations as military service develops many transferable skills.”

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