More than 600,000 manufacturing jobs go unfilled in the United States, at the same time, thousands of veteran U.S. servicemen and women return from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan jobless and facing bleak career prospects. Workshops for Warriors, a San Diego nonprofit, is helping match the need for workers with veterans’ needs for employment by providing free training and certification in manufacturing trade skills to veterans.
In support of Workshops for Warriors (WfW), the Gene Haas Foundation has offered a matching grant of as much as $100,000 to increase support of veteran training.
“We are extremely proud of the Haas partnership with Workshops for Warriors. Helping veterans achieve a great new career in manufacturing helps them and our nation maintain global leadership in a vital business sector,” says Peter Zierhut, director of the Gene Haas Foundation.
Workshops for Warriors is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that trains, certifies and places veterans in manufacturing careers at no cost to the veteran. “We deliver these programs with no federal, state or municipal funding,” says WfW founder and CEO, Hernán Luis y Prado. “Support from organizations like the Gene Haas Foundation allows us to run local training programs of national significance.” Through its programs, veterans can complete 8-week certification courses in welding, machining and fabrication.
Workshops for Warriors also operates a full-service facility that provides students with an opportunity to gain practical work experience in a real-world environment. Haas Automation has entrusted four CNC machines to Workshops for Warriors, which are used for training students in the newly named Haas Technical Education Center. The machines are valued at more than $440,000.
Last year, the Gene Haas Foundation contributed $60,000 to the organization to support veteran training. After veterans complete the program, Workshops for Warriors assists them with job placements in manufacturing companies. In the past 12 months, Workshops for Warriors has trained and certified 73 graduates from welding and machining classes. The students have already earned 157 certificates. Classes for spring began January 28, with 70 veterans enrolled.
Read more at workshopsforwarriors.org.