wfw-logoWhile it’s important to remember and honor the sacrifices and heroism of those who have fought for our country, it’s even more important to remember that their fight isn’t over when they return from combat. Beyond the physical and mental scars that so many come home with, many veterans struggle to find their place in a society that doesn’t understand their experiences and doesn’t know how to offer support.

Veterans make up about 8% of the homeless population in the United States – a number that is decreasing, but slowly. Workshops for Warriors is one program helping to reduce that number, and to help as many veterans as possible re-enter the workforce. Founded in 2008, the nonprofit school trains and certifies veterans in advanced manufacturing skills such as CAD/CAM programming, CNC machining, welding, and 3D design – not only helping returning soldiers to build new careers, but also helping to build the workforce needed to meet the rapidly growing demand for workers skilled in advanced manufacturing technologies.

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[Image: Workshops for Warriors via Facebook]

Just in time for Veterans’ Day, Workshops for Warriors shared the good news that JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of the largest financial services firms in the world, has committed to invest $75,000 in the organization, providing much-needed funds for the implementation of accredited STEM educational programs.

jpmc_logo“Veterans face significant challenges as they transition back to civilian life and focus on career development. We’re grateful to JPMorgan Chase for supporting our training program as we work to improve post-service lives,” said Hernàn Luis y Prado, founder of Workshops for Warriors. “We’re helping Veterans gain the skills they need in an effort to help fill the more than 2.3 million advanced manufacturing jobs in the U.S. These funds are crucial to helping us reach our goals.”

Between 2011 and 2016, Workshops for Warriors trained and certified 321 veterans with 1,223 nationally recognized third-party credentials. In 2015, 94% of graduates obtained jobs in advanced manufacturing.

“JPMorgan Chase is dedicated to promoting Veteran employment, empowering Veterans to succeed in small business and improving the financial security of vets, service members and their families, said Brian Page, West Region Head for JPMorgan Chase’s Government, Healthcare, Higher Education and Not-For-Profit Banking Group. “We are honored to work with Workshops for Warriors as it helps our city’s Veterans build a solid foundation for the future.”

fishThe investment from JPMorgan Chase isn’t the onlly piece of good news received by Workshops for Warriors this week – the school also obtained its fourth patent, granted by Fish & Richardson P.C., a global patent, intellectual property and commercial litigation law firm. The newly patented product provides a quick, simple way to level machines on support surfaces.

The school had found that many large, delicate manufacturing machines at certain locations were as many as 10 inches out of level thanks to the irregular surfaces on which they had been placed. Instead of having to manufacture pieces to offset each machine, Workshops for Warriors designed a system involving ruggedized shims that lock together and secure the equipment by locking the foot of the machine.

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John Phillips and Hernàn Luis y Prado

“With Fish & Richardson’s involvement, we are able to take what we do really well and leverage our advanced manufacturing infrastructure to create a product that’s useful throughout the U.S. and potentially the world,” said Prado. “There are numerous benefits to this patent. In addition to fostering creativity and innovation internally, it also offers a sustainable revenue stream for WFW while providing training and experience for the Veterans who are in our social enterprise. The firm not only helped us with our IP protection and patent work, but with the structure of the licensing program. Fish & Richardson played a crucial role in making this happen.”

Workshops for Warriors formed a pro bono partnership with Fish & Richardson in 2012.

“We were honored to partner with Workshops for Warriors for their fourth patent. Working with pro bono clients such as WFW is a win-win for Fish and the client: we created additional opportunities for WFW to raise money, and the Fish team was able to work on a really interesting project with a very impressive organization. For starters, the leveling devices can be made by their social enterprise corporation, VetPowered LLC, to earn money, or be licensed to other manufacturing companies. The revenue can go to supporting the training of Veterans in their quest to achieve high paying jobs in the U.S. manufacturing industry,” said John Phillips, principal at Fish & Richardson. “Our team worked diligently to secure approval and we are thrilled that the patented leveling devices will assist in raising funds for WFW’s worthy school.”

Discuss in the Workshops for Warriors forum at 3DPB.com.

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