Washington, D.C.—INSTALL, the North American leader in floor covering installation training and certification, and Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) are celebrating five years of a successful partnership. Together, they focus on preparing and placing veterans into rewarding construction careers starting as United Brotherhood of Carpenters (UBC) apprentices. Despite a challenging year due to COVID-19, H2H and INSTALL continued to excel in their mission—connecting hundreds of military service members and veterans to career opportunities, the groups said.
INSTALL said it values the important collaboration with H2H—military life translates seamlessly into the structured training required to become a skilled construction professional. Thus, veterans are eager students who go on to build rewarding careers as installers. “Veterans have the ideal mindset to succeed in our industry,” said John T. McGrath Jr., executive director, INSTALL. “They have a uniquely determined focus and drive that makes them excellent students in the classroom, as well as skilled leaders on the jobsite.”
In fact, Mike Robinson, business representative for Carpenters Local 326 in Connecticut, said that roughly 95% of the veterans placed through H2H in his area continue to work in the building trades long-term. A veteran himself, he said he admires their tenacity and adaptability. “The construction industry is difficult because it ebbs and flows,” Robinson said. “However, military service members and veterans are very disciplined. As solid, skilled workers with the right training, they stay employed despite any downturns.”
Veteran Diante Laracuente of Woodbine, N.J. said he has found that to be true. He was placed as an apprentice through H2H. While Laracuente currently works as a carpenter’s apprentice, he said he wouldn’t be there if he hadn’t reached out to INSTALL.
“Without my work history at Shore Building Contractors in Hammonton, N.J., I wouldn’t have the stability that I have now within the industry,” Laracuente said. “I’m working toward advancing my career further to provide for my wife and young daughter.”
Moving to civilian life after military service can be a difficult transition. H2H and INSTALL said they recognize these challenges and strive to make training and job placement easy. “My experience with the program was excellent,” Laracuente said. “They walked me through the process of training, applying and interviewing and were very supportive through every step.”
Join the team
Contractors that would like to support this partnership must commit to sponsoring a veteran in a UBC apprenticeship program and ultimately hire the veteran. Contractors interested in learning more about this program should contact John T. McGrath Jr., executive director of INSTALL: firstname.lastname@example.org.