As Navy veteran Hernán Luis y Prado and his wife watched one of his Marines who lost both legs in an IED blast in Iraq roll away from them in his wheelchair more than 10 years ago, they knew they had to do something to help.
It wasn’t long before the couple decided to sell everything they had in order to form Workshops for Warriors.
“I was blessed and honored to serve with some of the best young men and women this nation has produced,” Prado said.
The nonprofit was founded in 2008. It provides veterans with the opportunity to earn nationally recognized credentials in advanced manufacturing through accelerated training on leading-edge equipment. Prado said that allows veterans to pursue lifelong careers, build America’s economic resilience and spur a new wave of American innovation.
Prado said that by 2028 it is estimated that 2.4 million advanced manufacturing jobs could go unfilled while one million service members are expected to leave the military over the next five years.
"Veterans are naturally disciplined and eager to make a difference in their communities,” he said. “They’ve got the skills to fill the manufacturing gap.”
According to Prado, Workshops for Warriors places about 94% of those it serves in career jobs and regularly hosts career and job fairs. It is funded by donations from individuals, organizations and foundations. Some veterans are eligible to cover tuition with the GI Bill.
More than 572 veterans graduated from its programs so far.
Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectingvets.com
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