It’s important to remember why we as Americans are granted the freedom to take part in the democratic process. This country is built on the sacrifices and courage of the men and women in the armed forces who so bravely fight to protect that freedom. Transitioning back to civilian life has always had its challenges for American troops. Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) is a program that helps veterans do just that. Established in 2003, Helmets to Hardhats helps National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military members find employment in the construction industry.
It’s estimated that 250,000 to 300,000 men and women are discharged from the military every year. Finding gainful employment in today’s job market can be difficult for anybody, but for veterans in particular it’s sometimes hard applying military skills to civilian jobs. The construction industry is an attractive field because it offers an annual salary higher than the overall national average and more than 80 unique apprenticeship programs. Many of these apprenticeship programs are federally approved through Helmets to Hardhats – meaning they are offered at no cost to veterans. Organizations that participate in H2H offer three to five year earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship training programs that teach service members how to become construction industry professionals, sometimes in very specialized fields. Since the training 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 learning valuable job skills.
In 2014, Carhartt – Dungarees’ flagship brand – formed a partnership with the Helmets to Hardhats program. Carhartt’s bond with American servicemen began during WWI, when soldiers fought overseas wearing rugged Carhartt gear. Carhartt also supplied denim to the US Navy and apparel to the women working the factories during WWII. Fast forward to present day and that connection remains strong with their support of the H2H program. To date, Carhartt and its partners have donated over $175,000 in cash and products while helping connect the country’s bravest and hardest working men and women to promising careers in construction. We applaud Carhartt and the Helmets to Hardhats program for their dedication to this noble effort.
This Veterans Day we salute our service men and women, past and present, who fight for and protect our nation’s freedom. We wish all of our returning military personnel the best of luck as they rejoin civilian life. If you know a veteran, we urge you to thank them for their service and be mindful of the sacrifices they’ve made.