It would make sense that in a perfect world, soldiers would arrive home from the ravages of battles overseas to be greeted not only with a warm, comforting welcome, but also a streamlined entry back into the civilian workforce; after all, when the scenario is often actually opposite, that’s not much of an incentive for younger generations to consider signing up for duty. To see that in working to serve your country you very well could lose your life, a limb or two, and then also lose your livelihood later isn’t going to cut it for many.
It seems terribly bleak to imagine some of our finest in battle, the men and women who worked so hard to protect us, being left behind now. Workshops for Warriors is a program designed to see that doesn’t happen, and in fact this is a way for veterans to reinvent themselves in the career place, through new skills in an industry desperate for qualified and skilled workers: advanced manufacturing. We’ve followed the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization over the past years as they’ve continued to offer education in the most current technology for service members and veterans in the process of transitioning back into civilian life.
The Workshop for Warriors focus is on careers in the advanced manufacturing industry, and in the past we’ve seen this organization working to expand facilities further, as well as watching full graduating classes leave newly certified in CAD/CAM programming, and other traditional areas like CNC machining or welding. Workshops for Warriors has also been very involved in offering training in Solidworks, seeing 94% job placement upon receiving Solidworks certification. They’ve also partnered with Mastercam and are supported by The Gene Haas Foundation, Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., and others.
Now, Workshops for Warriors will work closely with SolidProfessor to help veterans and transitioning service members learn engineering and design skills with online resources before moving back into the workforce. SolidProfessor has sought to expand its resources to those who can most benefit by signing up, including students and those in southeast Asia.
“Our veterans deserve every chance to succeed in the civilian workplace with the tools and resources to develop highly technical skills,” said Tony Glockler, CEO of SolidProfessor. “The United States has a skills gap, with more engineering and manufacturing jobs being created than skilled personnel are being trained to execute. We aim to solve both challenges by working with returning service men and women to help them learn these skills and find placement in advanced manufacturing jobs.”
- Video tutorials
- Hands-on exercises
- Skills assessments to promote an effective learning experience
“We will always need welders and fabricators as we know them today, but the future of advanced manufacturing will exploit machines, not people,” explained Workshops for Warriors Founder Hernàn Luis y Prado.
“Today we train veterans to make products, but tomorrow we will train them to train robots to make products. Thanks to our collaboration with industry, trade associations, and our proximity to military bases and the biotech sector in San Diego, our new center will remain on the cutting edge of technology.”
The ultimate goal as SolidProfessor and Workshops for Warriors work together is to see veterans successfully transitioning, with unemployment rates going down while newly trained workers meet the market demand for specific skills. The idea is get everyone up to speed—and everybody to work. Discuss this topic further over in the Workshop for Warriors & SolidProfessor forum thread at 3DPB.com.