Washington, D.C. -- – In 2016, INSTALL partnered with Helmets to Hardhats to help veterans transitioning from military to civilian life and work. To date, INSTALL continues this partnership and has assisted many veterans start careers in floor covering and carpentry that value the skill sets developed within the military.

H2H connects military personnel transitioning from active duty with opportunities in the construction industry, which has seen a steep decline in available skilled laborers. With the skills acquired in the military, these individuals quickly become effective workers on the job site. The differences between military and civilian life are drastic, and it can be difficult to acclimate. Ironically, the main difference, heightened discipline, is a major value to employers. INSTALL is committed to properly training these candidates for a successful future in the flooring industry.

Dakotah Vanover was connected to the program in 2018. He was confident in working with his hands, but was not aware of the possibilities for a career. After an interview with a flooring company initiated by his counselor, Vanover was hired on the spot.

“The teamwork, comradery, and chain of command of the job site is similar to what I experienced in the military” said Vanover, “the program added consistency to my life that I needed during the transition to find a sense of purpose.”

John T. McGrath Jr., executive director of INSTALL, emphasized the benefits of the program for veterans. “Skills acquired in the military, such as attention to detail, work ethic, and time management equate to an efficient leader on the job site. Veterans learn the ability to adapt to different scenarios, which is a skill that is tough to learn, but must be present in any working environment.”

Veterans can apply to this program year-round and are given assistance by INSTALL from application to completion. After training, these INSTALL-certified veterans can install a variety of commercial flooring.

Contractors that would like to support this partnership must commit to sponsoring a veteran in the INSTALL apprenticeship program and ultimately hire the veteran. Flooring contractors interested in learning more about this program should contact John T. McGrath Jr., executive director of INSTALL. Veterans interested in pursuing this program should begin the process by contacting Helmets to Hardhats: U.S., Canada.

For more information, visit installfloors.org or helmetstohardhats.org.