With more than 200,000 U.S. service members leaving the military each year, ensuring veterans have the support they need for a successful transition back to civilian life has become increasingly important. San Diego-based nonprofit, Workshops for Warriors (WFW), is leading the charge through their advanced manufacturing program which trains, certifies and places veterans and transitioning service members into advanced manufacturing careers.
WFW offers two 16-week programs in CNC machining and welding. Upon completion, veterans and transitioning service members earn nationally recognized portable and stackable credentials – preparing them to enter a rapidly evolving and competitive workforce.
Since 2008, WFW has graduated more than 700 veterans and transitioning service members who have earned more than 6,200 nationally recognized credentials. With a 94% job placement rate, WFW alumni have gone on to work for top manufacturing companies across the country in every state.
The nonprofit credits its sustainability and success to the hard work and dedication of its staff and students, as well as the support it receives from private and corporate donors, including Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo and WFW’s relationship dates back to 2013, and since then the company has donated more than $680,000 in support of WFW’s overall programming and operations.
“I have had the pleasure of witnessing firsthand the incredible role that this organization plays in supporting our veterans and developing a strong pipeline for talented, skilled manufacturing workers,” said Wells Fargo District Manager and WFW Advisory Board Member Juan Vargas. “The work directly aligns with Wells Fargo’s overall mission in supporting our military and veteran community.”
In 2012, Wells Fargo established the company’s Military Affairs Program, expanding its commitment to help military members, veterans and their families succeed. Since its inception, more than $170 million has been donated to aid military- and veteran-related nonprofits.
Despite having to pivot to instructor-led online education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, newly implemented hygiene and safety protocols – including mandatory facemasks, constant disinfecting and handwashing, social distancing, and remote working – have allowed Workshops for Warriors to responsibly continue operations.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to levels of uncertainty and presented challenges never before faced. COVID ignited a rapid mobilization of the Workshops for Warriors family,” shared Hernán Luis y Prado, Workshop for Warriors Founder and CEO. “Our staff pulled together with discipline and energy, taking aggressive steps to restructure our operations to keep our students in the fight and moving forward in their efforts to change their lives for the better.”
For veteran and former student Sam Allingham, who now serves as a teaching assistant with the organization, WFW has allowed him the opportunity to continue his oath of serving this country. “It feels amazing that I am continuing to serve the United States, I am contributing to the American economy, and I am helping veterans at the same time,” said Sam. “We are raising awareness that we need to kick America into gear and start manufacturing in our country to sustain our economy. I am proud to contribute to that and to be part of Workshops for Warriors.”
Wells Fargo is proud to support Workshops for Warriors and its mission of Rebuilding American Manufacturing, One Veteran At A Time®. For more information, visit. www.wfw.org