Helmets to Hardhats is a national program that connects National Guard, Reserve and transitioning active-duty military members with quality career training and employment opportunities within the construction industry. The following FAQs section will help you learn more about this program:

What is Helmets to Hardhats?

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.

How Does Helmets to Hardhats Work?

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.

When Did You Start the Program?

H2H was conceived in 2002 and established in 2003.

How Are You Funded?

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.

Are There Any Eligibility Standards to Apply?

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.

Is Helmets to Hardhats a Training Program?

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.

Do You Offer More Than Just Construction Work?

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.

What is an Apprenticeship?

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.

Why the Building Trades?

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.

Are You a Union-only Program?

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.

How do you Ensure That Quality Employer Careers are Listed?

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.

How do Companies Contact You?

Interested companies are encouraged to register at http://recruiter.helmetstohardhats.org/.

How Do Employers Benefit from Helmets to Hardhats?

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.

Can I Use My Montgomery G.I. Bill And Other Educational Funding Entitlements?

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.

How Many People Have Found Careers Through Your Program?

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.

How Much Will I Get Paid?

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.

How Long Does it Take for me to Get a Job After Applying?

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.

What is Direct Entry?

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.

Do You Get a Majority of Enlisted Service People or Officers?

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.

Do You Place People in Jobs Based on Their Military Experience?

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.