WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA) presented Helmets to Hardhats with a check for $125,000 comprised of donations from pharmaceutical companies Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, and Pfizer during PILMA's annual meeting on November 15. Iron Workers President and PILMA Chairman Walter Wise was joined by Building and Construction Trades President Sean McGarvey, as well as representatives from the pharmaceutical industry and labor, to receive the contribution. "In these tough economic times it is more important than ever that we support our returning troops," Wise said. "Helmets to Hardhats has a proven track record of placing veterans in good-paying jobs and easing their transition back to civilian life. We are proud to support this program, and we are thankful for the support of the pharmaceutical industry. We look forward to continuing to find ways to grow Helmets to Hardhats in the future." Helmets to Hardhats was formed in 2003 to connect retired and transitioning military members with quality career and training opportunities in the building and construction trades industry. Since 2007, when Helmets to Hardhats began tracking placement data, the program has successfully placed almost 6,000 military veterans into careers in the building and construction trades. The program is sponsored by the 15 unions of the building and construction trades along with construction industry employer associations. Contributions to Helmets to Hardhats support the program's marketing and outreach efforts, helping veterans around the world discover this opportunity. The actual cost of training participants is covered by the participating unions and their labor-management training funds. "This program is a win-win for everyone involved," Johnson & Johnson Vice President for Government Affairs and PILMA Vice-Chairman Don Bohn said. "The pharmaceutical industry is committed to employing a highly-trained and disciplined workforce to construct the complex facilities that help lead us to innovation, and programs like Helmets to Hardhats supply these workers. Hiring veterans who have this training ensures that we are getting the best-qualified workers for the job." PILMA is a partnership between companies that form the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and the unions of the AFL-CIO's Building and Construction Trades Department. It is PILMA's mission to help support a strong domestic pharmaceutical industry that provides innovative, affordable medicines to the American people.