OTTAWA, April 18, 2013 /CNW/ - On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, Eve Adams, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs, joined representatives of PCL Constructors Canada Inc. and Helmets to Hardhats Canada to announce new support for an exciting collaboration between the private sector, unions and governments to match Veterans with well-paid jobs in the trades and construction industry.
Helmets to Hardhats Canada, a national, not-for profit organization, works with Veterans, businesses and unions to promote employment offers and to facilitate enrolment in apprenticeship programs. PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (PCL) is a group of independent construction companies carrying out work across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and Australia. Today, PCL's Senior Project Director, Bruce Norman, presented $150,000 to Brigadier-General (Retired) Gregory Matte, Executive Director of Helmets to Hardhats Canada, to ensure the program's continued success.
Parliamentary Secretary Eve Adams, during the cheque presentation, applauded the PCL family of companies for its contribution. "Your generous donation to the Helmets to Hardhats Canada program reflects a long-standing commitment to Canada's Veterans and those in uniform," said Ms. Adams. "I want to thank PCL, which is also the largest construction company in Canada, for its financial support to Veterans, and offer my congratulations to PCL and to all of corporate Canada for their support to Veterans."
Brigadier-General (Retired) Gregory Matte, Executive Director, Helmets to Hardhats Canada, commended PCL for its efforts to become a key corporate sponsor for this important non-profit organization designed to assist Veterans in securing well-paid careers in the building and construction industry in Canada. "Not only has PCL made an important financial contribution, but it has committed to hiring vets who are beginning their apprenticeship in the various trades, thereby contributing positively to workforce development in Canada," stated BGen Matte.
"PCL believes that supporting the Helmets to Hardhats program in Ontario recognizes the valuable contribution that members of the Canadian Armed Forces—past and present—have made to our country," said Kevin Skinner, Vice-President and District Manager for PCL's Ottawa District operations. "We are proud to be part of this partnership, providing support and opportunities in the construction industry."
The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie, called the donation admirable. "One of the most challenging hurdles facing new Veterans is finding quality employment," stated Minister Blaney. "I call on all business leaders to join employers like PCL and make the hiring of Veterans a priority. Our Government is committed to working with you to showcase the talents and skills of Veterans. The Veterans Transition Action Plan, which I unveiled last fall, supports Canada's heroes as they make the transition to civilian life."
"The H2H program is a win-win for both Veterans and employers, given the current demand for skilled labour across Canada," says Marcus Wisotzki, formerly a combat engineer with the Canadian Armed Forces, and currently an assistant superintendent with PCL Constructors. "Military personnel members have acquired a variety of skills and have incredible experience, providing the employer with an individual of great potential—a recruiting gold mine. Another important benefit is that they have security clearances or the ability to easily get one. In the end, the recruiting partners reap the rewards."
The employees of Helmets to Hardhats Canada are former men and women in uniform who can help Veterans transfer their military skills and experience to meet the requirements of civilian jobs. They can provide assistance to achieve journeyperson certification in more than 60 trades in the construction industry.
For more information on the Helmets to Hardhats Canada program, visit helmetstohardhats.ca, or call 613-238-2300 or 1-855-238-9707 (toll free).
2013 is the Year of the Korean War Veteran—Canada proudly remembers the heroes of the Korean War and their brave fight to uphold freedom, democracy and the rule of law.
For more information on Veterans Affairs Canada's programs and services, visit veterans.gc.ca.
SOURCE: Veterans Affairs Canada
For further information:
Media Relations Advisor
Veterans Affairs Canada
BGen (Ret'd) Greg Matte
Helmets to Hardhats Canada
Jean-Christophe de Le Rue
Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs