From Marines to Manufacturers, Ready to Work

I know from personal experience early in my post-university years that veterans of our military often do not have enough highly-sought-after skills to find a good job once they are honorably discharged. Introducing Workshops for Warriors.

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Tim and Kim Bartz (center) pause for a photo with several active-duty Marines who are training for welding jobs when they rejoin civilian life.

I know from personal experience early in my post-university years that veterans of our military often do not have enough highly-sought-after skills to find a good job once they are honorably discharged. They learn a lot of very technical things, but too much of that is “military grade” and does not translate well to civilian life. Introducing Workshops for Warriors.

Workshops for Warriors is a 501c (3) not-for-profit organization the mission of which is to provide skills training, including accredited STEM educational programs, that help to transition our service members, veterans and other students into viable advanced manufacturing careers. The organization is based in San Diego, California, and was founded by Hernàn Luis y Prado, a U.S. Naval officer, in 2008. The school offers two primary programs: machining and welding. Students are certified according to standards issued by the National Institute of Manufacturing Skills (NIMS), Mastercam University, Solidworks and the American Welding Society. Classes are taught both in the classroom and with hands-on instruction on 11 Haas CNC mills and lathes, an Amada Laser, Flow water jet and 18 welding booths.

I first learned about Workshops for Warriors from Tim Bartz, who with his wife Kim, founded iWarriors (see my blog from April 27).  Tim was so impressed with this program and it sounded like an excellent pairing up of brave, talented military service members and advanced manufacturing. On its homepage, Workshops for Warriors states clearly its mission: “Rebuilding American manufacturing one veteran at a time.” Visit the organization’s website and the list of partnering companies shows many a familiar name from the moldmaking industry.

iWarriors visited the Workshop for Warriors facility and Kim Bartz sent us a note to let us know about it.

“We spent an afternoon in San Diego after MD&M West last month,” she said. “The men we are standing with (in the photo, above) are students in one of the welding classes. This group consists of active duty Marines based at Camp Pendleton in California. They all are finishing up their careers with the Marines in the very near future and are already getting certification to jump start their welding careers. This is all possible by donations made to Workshops for Warriors. The students pay no tuition for the training and certification.”

Kim said an iWarriors iPad presentation was made at Camp Pendleton, Balboa Naval Hospital and Workshops for Warriors in February.

What an amazing experience that must have been.

 

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