Many young New Yorkers were inspired to military service after their city was attacked on September 11th, 2001. But as we’ve seen, soldiers returning home often have trouble finding quality work. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and Brooklyn Councilman Mathieu Eugene (D-Ditmas Park) are working to mitigate this negative byproduct of serving our country by providing more funding for the Helmets to Hardhats program that helps returning servicemen and women begin careers in the building and construction trades. Together, the two politicians are helping to expand H2H in NYC:
“More and more veterans are returning to the five boroughs every day, and the City Council is working hard to make sure they have jobs to come home to,” Speaker Quinn said.
“And what better way for many veterans to use the skills they developed in the military than in a rewarding and good paying career in the city’s building trades? By helping Helmets to Hardhats expand their operations, we’ll get even more veterans back to work and help ease their transition into civilian life.”
Currently, the state of New York has only one part-time staffer who has been able to place an average of 75 veterans into apprenticeships yearly. With an additional $100,000 allotment in next year’s budget and $130,000 in grants from the non-profit Robin Hood Foundation, the program can expand and help more returning veterans begin rewarding careers:
Councilman James Oddo (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn), who has been part of an effort to create a borough-based resource center for Staten Island veterans, said the program has infinite value.
“Saying thank you is a good start in acknowledging the service of the men and women of our armed forces, but it is just that — a start — of what we as a nation must do to demonstrate our appreciation and respect,” Oddo said. “We need to help these brave Americans begin the next phase of their lives and this initiative starts these heroes on this new, wonderful path.”