Transitioning from the battlefield to the workplace can be difficult. After bravely serving our country, many veterans say it’s a challenge to match the skills they developed in the military with those of potential employers. Office jobs don’t always feel like the right fit. And sometimes, they have a hard time finding a sense of purpose.

As a result, too many of the Commonwealth’s bravest struggle with unemployment.

At SMW17, we’re working to change that.

At a recent event at the state capitol in Boston, SMW17 proudly donated $2,000 to Helmets to Hardhats, which provides apprenticeships to returning veterans. The event raised more than $50,000.

Many of our own members have earned their jobs through Helmets to Hardhats, and at the event several were recognized for their excellence.

“It was a struggle adjusting back to civilian life at first but Local 17 and Helmets to Hardhats gave me incredible support to start a rewarding new career using my existing skills, plus set new goals to keep my life going on track,” said Michael Morani, veteran and SMW17 apprentice.

“I enjoy going to work every day knowing that the future is a lot brighter for me. I am able to support my family with good pay and benefits, and I have a solid pension to look forward to after retirement,” Marc Jaramillo, veteran and SMW17 apprentice.

“I feel very fortunate. I love my job as a sheet metal worker and I’m grateful for Helmets to Hardhats and Local 17 giving me, my wife and kids the stability and security we can count on,” said Evan Donohoe, veteran and proud SMW17 member.

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