Martin Helms To Lead Growing Union Construction Pathway Program for Military Servicemembers and Veterans

Washington, D.C. – September 07, 2021 – North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) and its signatory contractor associations who operate the Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment and Veterans Employment (CMRAVE) are pleased to announce the selection of Martin Helms as Executive Director of the Helmets to Hardhats program.

Helms joins Helmets to Hardhats from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Electrical Contractors Association Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (IBEW/NECA JATC – Local #306), where he served as Training Director in Akron, Ohio.  As a successful Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) participant, Helms has a passion for the program’s mission and a personal understanding of the career pathways that H2H provides. With over ten years of joint labor-management apprenticeship leadership and a respected military history as an Army Engineer Warrant Officer and current Reserve officer, he brings strong training, management, military and recruitment experience that the program needs. He also has a true appreciation for the unique challenges faced by those transitioning from a military to civilian career.

“H2H means more to me than most,” Helms said. “After deployment, I was struggling to further my career, financially struggling with my young family and not enjoying my military occupation. The day I heard about Helmets to Hardhats changed my life, and since then, I am financially sound with an awesome family and have been helping to change more lives directing the training at the same JATC, which uplifted mine. I look forward to continuing to transform even more lives, using my skills from the trades and in uniform, and continuing to give back to this great industry and country.”

“We are excited to name Martin as H2H’s new Executive Director. His experience and unique perspective as a Helmets to Hardhats success story will continue strengthening the organization’s vision and growth. We look forward to working with him on efforts to bring H2H to the next level and positively change the lives of even more veterans and transitioning service members,” said Sean McGarvey, President of NABTU. “We’re pleased about this next step for the organization and can’t wait to see where H2H can go.”

Helms’ hiring comes as the Helmets to Hardhats program implements a plan of strategic growth in programs, development and outreach, and furthering the successes of almost 50,000 known successful transitions into Registered Apprenticeship programs. Helms will begin his tenure with Helmets to Hardhats on October 4, 2021.


Press Contacts: Kaitlyn Seger, CMRAVE,; Betsy Barrett, NABTU,

About NABTU: North America’s Building Trades Unions is an alliance of 14 national and international unions in the building and construction industry that collectively represent over 3 million skilled craft professionals in the United States and Canada. Each year, our unions and our signatory contractor partners invest almost $2 billion in private-sector money to fund and operate over 1,900 apprenticeship training and education facilities across North America that produce the safest, most highly trained, and productive, skilled craft workers found anywhere in the world. NABTU is dedicated to creating economic security and employment opportunities for its construction workers by safeguarding wage and benefits standards, promoting responsible private capital investments, investing in renowned apprenticeship and training, and creating pathways to the middle class for women, communities of color and military veterans in the construction industry. For more information, please visit, and to learn more about the building trades efforts during this pandemic, please follow the hashtag #buildingtradeswhateverittakes.

About CMRAVE/H2H: Helmets to Hardhats (H2H) is a national program that connects veterans, transitioning active-duty military service members, National Guard and Reservists with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. The program was created by the Center for Military Recruitment, Assessment and Veterans Employment, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, joint labor-management driven entity.  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. Over the last seventeen years Helmets to Hardhats has built a solid network of relationships and communication lines that are unique and invaluable to our nations’ veterans, transitioning active-duty service members, National Guard and Reservists. In this time H2H has helped almost 50,000 military service members find quality careers and training in the construction industry. Please visit for more information.