Manufacturers support Workshops for Warriors

December 18, 2017 - 03:45pm

Hernán Luis y Prado, founder and CEO of Workshops for Warriors. Photo courtesy of Workshops for Warriors.Since its founding in 2008, 421 graduates of the nonprofit school Workshops for Warriors, San Diego, have earned 2,500 nationally recognized certifications from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills Inc., the American Welding Society and more.

Even more noteworthy is the fact that the educational institution exists to train military veterans for metalworking careers.

Manufacturers have lined up to support that mission, with more than 70 corporations each donating $10,000 or more in cash, equipment or materials in 2016 and the first 7 months of 2017 alone. Workshops for Warriors must raise $2.5 million annually just to maintain current operations.

BLM Group USA, Novi, Mich., which manufactures CNC tube- and wire-bending machines and tube end-forming equipment, presented a $25,000 check to Workshops for Warriors in November and plans to hire a graduate from the Machining for Warriors program as a field service technician.

“It’s an honor for our company to be involved with Workshops for Warriors,” said the president and COO of BLM Group USA, Jeffrey Ahrstrom, who described veterans’ sacrifices and abilities as remarkable.

He said the training given by the school is rigorous and comprehensive.

“Graduates are immediately employable as welders, machinists, service engineers or CNC programmers,” he said. “As a Marine, I’m proud to work for a company supporting our veterans and this program. As a business leader, I’m eager to support the next generation of engineers, machinists and business executives. We look forward to bringing these very capable hard-chargers into our organization.”

Also in November, metrology equipment manufacturer Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, North Kingstown, R.I., donated several portable Romer Absolute Arms to help the curriculum expand into metrology.

A student at Workshops for Warriors. Photo courtesy of Workshops for Warriors.Steve Starner, director of business development for aerostructures at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, said the school is an incredibly worthy cause that the company is proud to support.

“Many veterans already possess mechanical and technical proficiencies gained from their military training,” he said. “As the field of manufacturing continues to reinvent itself, military veterans can play a crucial role in this resurgence and forge long-term, high-tech careers. Industry demand will continue to grow for qualified, metrology-savvy workers as world-class manufacturers expand their R&D and data analytics capabilities to innovate product development and new processes.”

Hernán Luis y Prado, founder and CEO of Workshops for Warriors, served three tours of duty in the Navy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Because private donations fund the school—83 percent of them go directly to training programs—he said industry support is essential.

“Workshops for Warriors’ mission is critical to the manufacturing infrastructure and security of our nation,” he said. “Our nation is suffering a severe deficit in the skilled workforce, and we risk outsourcing more manufacturing to other countries. The industry needs to support an advanced manufacturing pipeline by providing training dollars to ensure their companies are able to stay in business with a skilled and qualified workforce. The most impactful way the industry, or anyone, can support Workshops for Warriors is by providing scholarships to ensure veterans are receiving the education and training they need to work in the manufacturing industry.”

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Related Glossary Terms

  • computer numerical control ( CNC)

    computer numerical control ( CNC)

    Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.

  • metalworking


    Any manufacturing process in which metal is processed or machined such that the workpiece is given a new shape. Broadly defined, the term includes processes such as design and layout, heat-treating, material handling and inspection.

  • metrology


    Science of measurement; the principles on which precision machining, quality control and inspection are based. See precision machining, measurement.


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