This article originally appeared in the Dorchester Reporter on November 14, 2019.

By Jack Goldman, Reporter Correspondent

Building trades unions based in Dorchester donated $13,000 to Helmets to Hardhats at a State House fundraising event last Friday. Helmets to Hardhats aims to connect National Guard, Reserve, and transitioning active-duty military members with trades unions jobs, according to a release from the Massachusetts Building Trades Council.

The overall union fundraising effort ultimately delivered more than $65,000 to the charity.

Said Peter Carpenter, a National Guard veteran who teaches apprentices with Operating Engineers Local 4 in Medway: “The Helmets to Hardhats program is a great resource for the young men and women coming out of the military today, and a great resource for the building trades to gain qualified, disciplined people with a proven work ethic.”

Massachusetts Building Trades Council President Frank Callahan emphasized that supporting charities such as Helmets to Hardhats is doing right by veterans who have put so much on the line for their country.

“We are honored to work with Helmets to Hardhats and to provide career opportunities for our returning veterans,” he said. “There will always be a place in the building trades for these brave men and women who epitomize sacrifice, selflessness, discipline, honor, and commitment. They embody the values of our unions.”

Darrell Roberts, executive director of Helmets to Hardhats, expressed optimism about the charity’s ability to connect with supporters and the futures of returning veterans.

“Every time I come to this event, I see more and more people willing to help. I see more and more people wanting to make sure that our veterans are taken care of.

“It’s a win for everyone,” he added. “You serve your country, you should have the ability to find a good career. You should have the ability to feed your family with honor and dignity. You should be able to retire with your head held high and be able to do whatever you want to do with your life.”

Donations by the unions based in Dorchester included $5,000 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 103, $2,500 each from the Plumbers & Gasfitters Local 12, the New England Regional Council of Carpenters, and Pipefitters Local 537. Heat & Frost Insulators Local 6 and the Iron Workers District Council of New England each donated $1,000.

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