PRESS RELEASE: November 9, 2020

OCS donates $100,000 to help provide opportunities in the trades for veterans.

Military to civilian transition can be tough but Helmets to Hardhats streamlines the connection between veterans and opportunities in the trades

Monday, November 9, 2020

Toronto, ON. – On behalf of building trade construction unions and contractor partners, the Ontario Construction Secretariat 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,” Joe Keyes, OCS President of the Board of Directors, says. “The Helmets to Hardhats organization is providing opportunities to military men and women who served Canada with distinction as they transition to civilian life,” he continues.

Brent Dewell, Carpenters Local 27, is just one example of how H2H has helped our veterans. Mr. 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. Mr. 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 Robert Bronk, OCS Chief Executive Officer.

About the Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS)

The OCS was formed in 1993 as a joint labour and management organization representing 25 unionized construction trades and their contractor partners in Ontario’s industrial, commercial, and institutional (ICI) construction sector.  Its mandate is to enhance Ontario’s ICI construction industry by developing relationships, facilitating dialogue, providing value-added research, disseminating important information to client groups, and promoting the value of ICI unionized construction across Ontario.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Vanessa Milburn
Communications and Engagement Lead
Ontario Construction Secretariat

P/ 416.620.5210, ext. 246
c/ 647.999.9213