Hernàn Luis y Prado, a U.S. Navy officer with combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, was upset over what was happening to returning veterans.
“I saw many of my fellow service members feeling lost with no path to a successful civilian life. I needed to change that,” Prado explained.
So in 2008, he founded Workshops for Warriors (WFW). It is a state-licensed, board-governed, fully audited, 501 (c) (3) nonprofit school that provides quality training, accredited STEM educational programs, and opportunities to earn third-party nationally recognized credentials to enable veterans, transitioning service members, and other students to be successfully trained and placed in their chosen advanced manufacturing career field.
Each graduate, nearly 500 to date, earns third-party, nationally-recognized credentials accredited by the National Institute for Metalworking Skills (NIMS), CNC Software Inc. (Mastercam), SolidWorks, Immerse2Learn, the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), and the American Welding Society (AWS).
On Oct. 5 WFW announced that Stratasys, a provider of applied additive technology solutions, will donate 3D printing technology and services, which will become the centerpiece of the institution’s new additive manufacturing STEM-accreditation and training.
At the core of this program is the Stratasys Fortus 450mc, an additive manufacturing solution. Fueled by Stratasys FDM technology, the offering is ideal for demands of high-requirement production – advancing speed, agility, and design freedom for accurate and repeatable 3D printed prototypes, manufacturing tools, and production parts.
“Today’s manufacturing demands companies move faster and more efficiently than ever before,” said Rich Garrity, President of Americas, Stratasys. “Lean processes mandate reduction of both tooling costs and risks, as well as removal of design constraints typically hindering productivity. Additive technology is the engine that makes this all possible. We are honored to partner with Workshops for Warriors, empowering the skilled men and women of the military with the tools necessary to succeed in the thriving manufacturing sector.”
All Workshops for Warriors offerings are accredited STEM educational programs, always provided at no-cost through generous donations. The school currently receives no Federal, State, or local funding, and is expected to be eligible for GI Bill benefits in April 2019.
“In our region alone, more than 40,000 veterans transition out of military service each and every year. Unfortunately, many face significant challenges - including access to living-wage jobs. Our mission is to make significant, lasting improvements in the lives of veterans and their families – and job re-training is a key to this transformation,” said Hernàn Luis y Prado, Founder of Workshops for Warriors and a former US Navy Officer. “3D printing is required for accelerated careers in manufacturing, and Stratasys is the ideal partner to help us create these opportunities for students.”