INSTALL takes veteran support to the next level through a career placement program with Helmets to Hardhats (H2H). H2H operates in both the United States and Canada with two complimentary, but independent programs that connect National Guard, Reserve, retired and transitioning active-duty military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry.

The program is designed to help military service members successfully transition back into civilian life by offering them the means to secure a quality career in the construction industry. Veterans can apply to the program year-round and INSTALL is helping them succeed in all stages of the program, from application to completion.

In April 2016, INSTALL and H2H forged a partnership with the goal of bringing new skilled workers into the floorcovering industry through apprenticeships. Since then, more than 200 vets have shown interest in an apprenticeship and INSTALL is actively working to connect them to contractors for possible career opportunities.

According to Frank Koch, president of Floorlayers Local 251, the partnership creates great benefits for veterans. An average of 10,000 baby boomers are retiring every day across the nation and the need to backfill the labor pool is at an all-time high. Koch explains that if we can bring vets who are dedicated with a great work ethic into the floorcovering ecosystem then it’s a win-win for INSTALL, H2H and the industry.

A Model for Success

When Roderick Deas, who served in the army, was ready to start his career he reached out to his recruiting agent to find a program designed for veterans. With an interest in the construction field, he pursued a floor covering career because it offers year-round stability that ensures he can support his growing family of five. Now in his second year as an INSTALL apprentice with sponsor contractor Circle Floors Inc., Deas hasn’t looked back.

“The hands-on training I receive at school and in the field is incredibly comprehensive. First INSTALL helps us understand how to properly install flooring in the classroom, this is followed by instructor demonstrations, and then you get to try it for yourself.”

Deas says that he values the program because he is not only being taught how to install flooring, but he is being taught the why behind each step. John T. McGrath Jr. is executive director of INSTALL. He points out that INSTALL is committed to helping vets succeed in all stages of the program, from application to completion. INSTALL’s goal is to build on its success by continuing to open doors for vets through the partnership with the H2H program and contractors.”

Getting Involved

Veterans interested in pursuing a career in floorcovering through the INSTALL program should begin the process by contacting Helmets to Hardhats and can search for opportunities here:

Note: This guest blog post is from INSTALL, the International Standards & Training Alliance, which is an association of professionals representing the flooring industry.

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