Rebuilding America’s Advanced Manufacturing, One Veteran at a Time
Ever since I went to the Naval Academy Graduation Ceremony in 1994, and watched the Blue Angels fly along the Severn River, I’ve had an immense respect for those serving in our military. Having a family member in the Special Operations Command, I’ve been fortunate to meet many active and retired service members, and that respect continued to grow as I gained knowledge of the true selflessness and sacrifice that our military personnel endure as they serve.
In late 2012, I was first introduced to Workshops for Warriors, and was immediately inspired by their story and their mission. It all began with Hernan and Rachel Luis y Prado who opened up their garage for veterans and wounded warriors who are transitioning to civilian life and sometimes struggling greatly with that transition, and often wondering where their next paycheck will come from and how they will support their families. Hernan and Rachel’s Workshop for Warrior’s mission is to prepare veterans and wounded warriors for advanced manufacturing careers by providing them with industry-leading training, nationally recognized portable credentials, work experience, and job placement. They are rebuilding America’s advanced manufacturing workforce, one veteran at a time. Their energy, commitment, and enthusiasm is contagious!
The results are very impressive: 100% of all veterans and wounded warriors graduating from their school result in job placement. 39 of those students have received their SOLIDWORKS CSWA degrees (Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate) and CSWP degrees, (Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional) and many have an increased knowledge of the SOLIDWORKS product suite to help round out their education with additional skills to help students differentiate themselves in a competitive workforce environment. Today, Workshops for Warriors are in the midst of a $15M capital campaign to build a state of the art advanced manufacturing center at their current location in San Diego. Workshops for Warriors’ goal is to ensure the futures of America’s veterans and wounded warriors by creating advanced manufacturing training centers throughout the nation.
The Corporate support from SOLIDWORKS has been exceptional, and I’m very proud and grateful for that commitment. While visiting with customers, we repeatedly hear about the difficulties in finding skilled manufacturing and engineering resources. Supporting the Workshops for Warriors program creates a win-win scenario for our veterans and our manufacturing customers.
I’ve had the pleasure to meet the Workshops for Warriors students on a few visits. To see the excitement on the faces of these young men and women as they see a “way forward” for their ability to provide for themselves and their families is truly a life changing experience. As a parent of four children, I’m constantly looking for ways to teach them perspective in life. Getting involved with Workshops for Warriors, and being recently appointed to serve on their Board of Advisors, has given me a new perspective and new inspiration. I hope that you’ll join the Workshops for Warriors team in thanking our veterans by providing them advanced manufacturing skills – and help rebuild America’s advanced manufacturing workforce, one veteran at a time.