H2H Canada fundraising tops $700,000 mark
Boilermakers recognized for achievements
A FUNDRAISER HELD in Toronto May 23 pushed building trades funding for the Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) program over the $700,000 mark, and the Boilermakers union received recognition for helping to launch the program.
Associate Minister of National Defence Julian Fantino presented an award to International Vice President Joe Maloney for the role he played in establishing H2H in Canada. The program was formally kicked off Jan. 6 at the Local 146 (Edmonton, Alberta) union hall, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper announcing the national government’s support. Maloney also spearheaded the U.S. Helmets to Hardhats program in 2003, while serving as secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department.
H2H is an innovative approach to transition returning veterans to civilian occupations in the trades. During the fundraiser, Local 128 member Ted Collins was recognized as an example of how veterans can make that transition. Collins served in the Canadian military from 1994 to 2007 as vehicle mechanic, with duty in Bosnia and Afghanistan as well as providing emergency support back home during floods and a major ice storm. After separating from the military, he completed the Boilermaker apprenticeship, earned his Red Seal accreditation, and today works in the nuclear power industry.
More than 1,100 people attended the fundraising event. IVP Maloney summed up the purpose of the H2H program, stating, “The bottom line here is we are offering these brave men and women who protect our freedoms and democracy career opportunities. This is just the right thing to do.”