Sears recently joined forces with the nonprofit organization Helmets to Hardhats by making the Craftsman brand of tools more affordable for members of the U.S. military transitioning into civilian life through various professional trades.
“Obviously, we’re facing a difficult economy. The purpose of our partnering with Helmets to Hardhats was really to help members of the military as they’re becoming apprentices,” says Sears spokesman Larry Costello.
Veterans who register with Helmets to Hardhats, and are placed as an apprentice or journeyman, will receive a $50 Craftsman gift card toward the purchase of $100 or more in Craftsman tools. The discount is in recognition of their service and to help them purchase the initial set of tools for their new trade.
The Helmets to Hardhats program helps service members and military veterans put their training to work as they start careers in the building and construction industry. Launched in January 2003 with funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, Helmets to Hardhats provides an important link for veterans and soon-to-be veterans to 15 building and construction trade unions, construction industry employers and their joint apprenticeship programs.
Darrell Roberts, executive director of Helmets to Hardhats, says few people will deny the value of military service, but there is often a disconnect between public recognition of the value of military service and what our society is willing to provide soldiers who have completed their tour of duty.
“One promising pathway for military service members struggling to secure family-supporting wages and benefits in the civilian sector is a career in the building trades,” says Roberts. “The building trades and their employer organizations offer the best training and career opportunities in the construction industry, and they are committed to helping those who sacrificed so much for our country. We commend Sears for helping our servicemen and women acquire the tools they need as they start a new career.”
This article originally appeared in the April 2009 issue.