Industry Market Trends

Sandvik Coromant Helps "Workshops for Warriors" Get Vets to Work

Dec 12, 2012

U.S. military veterans searching for manufacturing jobs should take a closer look at Workshops for Warriors, a nonprofit organization that aims to help place and certify them in manufacturing jobs. And now, manufacturing stakeholders are joining the cause: This week, Sandvik Coromant, the supplier of metalcutting tools and solutions, announced that it is contributing a grant worth $40,000 in metalcutting tools.

Sandvik Coromant welcomed Hernán Luis y Prado and his team from Workshops for Warriors to its Cypress Productivity Center.

Workshops for Warriors, based in San Diego, was founded as a response to troubling unemployment rates among those who served in the U.S. military. In 2009, for example, nearly one in four veterans aged 18 to 24 who lived in California was unemployed, the organization explains on its website.

To ease veterans transitioning from the armed forces to civilian careers, the mission offers both classroom and hands-on training, with instructors ranging from certified industry experts to skilled vets. In May, Workshops for Warriors's founder and president, Hernán Luis y Prado, said that it had plans to offer veterans training in computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing.

Through hands-on experience in high-quality facilities, veterans are able to acquire valuable skills in milling, drilling and turning. The organization also loans a range of equipment - from air compressors to sandblasters - to graduates of the program at no cost. This year alone, Workshops for Warriors reported that it has achieved a 100 percent job placement rate with its welding class, with vets trained through the American Welding Society.

Sandvik's donation will supplement the organization's new machining program, according to a statement released by the company. The $40,000 grant includes tech and application support from Sandvik's Cypress Productivity Center.

"We were amazed at Sandvik Coromant's generosity and their desire to be partners to train, certify, and place veterans into manufacturing careers," Luis y Prado said in a statement. "Their partnership was further cemented when several Sandvik Coromant executives volunteered to help provide long-term resume and interviewing workshops for our graduates to help prepare them for their first job after the military."

Luis y Prado, a Navy veteran who served in Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain and Afghanistan, was recently recognized at the White House as one of the "Champions of Change," for his dedication to help veterans, including disabled ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen.

"By 2015, we expect to employ 50 disabled veterans and place a 1,000 more. Our plan is to train a 1,000 disabled veterans per location on an ongoing annual basis," Luis y Prado wrote in an article posted on the White House's website.

Since its inception, Workshops for Warriors has served 126 veterans, with 149 certificates earned, while 57 veterans have graduated from the program.

Look for additional veterans in manufacturing coverage on the Career Journal.