DEARBORN, MI and ST. PAUL, MN -- Two well-known names in work wear are collaborating to help American veterans transition from military service to civilian employment. Carhartt and Gander Mountain presented Helmets to Hardhats with a check for $15,000 to aid efforts in recruiting and training outgoing members of the military for careers in the building and construction trades.
"It's a great privilege for Carhartt to support a program like Helmets to Hardhats, an organization that offers skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry to returning military service members in transition," said Linda Hubbard, president and chief operating officer at Carhartt. "As a 125 year-old brand built on serving the country's hardest workers with durable apparel, it was a natural fit for us to partner with Helmets to Hardhats. We are continually impressed by the number of veterans they are helping each day."
Gander Mountain is one of the nation's largest retailers of work wear, and has been a long-time supporter of employment efforts for returning veterans.
"The men and women who have served in our nation's branches of the armed services are true American heroes, so it is an honor for Gander Mountain to give generously to a program like Helmets to Hardhats, and support efforts to ease the transition to civilian life," said Mike Owens, president and chief operating officer for Gander Mountain. "As one of the nation's largest and fastest-growing retailers of work wear, and a major employer of current and retired active duty and reserve military personnel, a program like Helmets to Hardhats perfectly fits with our values and vision for honoring these brave men and women."
Starting in August, Gander Mountain collaborated on a promotion through which a portion of every Carhartt in-store purchase went to support Helmets to Hardhats, resulting in the $15,000 donation on Veterans Day.
Katie Sanicky of Cleveland, a single mother and former U.S. Army Military Police officer, is a fine example of the program at work. After two tours of duty in Iraq, Sanicky learned of the Helmets to Hardhats program and met with the program's Executive Director, Darrell Roberts, who encouraged her to register. After successfully completing the Helmets to Hardhats training program, Sanicky joined Iron Workers Local 17 and is currently a third-year apprentice in the building trades.
"If it wasn't for the Helmets to Hardhats program, I'm not sure where I'd be today," said Sanicky. "Every day, my goal is to be a role model for future ironworkers and returning military service members who need guidance on transitioning back into civilian life. The apprenticeship program helped me gain the confidence I needed to succeed in my new career and I want to educate others on how they too can succeed."
Interested returning military personnel are encouraged to register on www.helmetstohardhats.org or call 866-741-6210.