I don’t even really remember not being a
Marine. It’s only been five years, but everything else feels like it was like
my childhood. It’s very scary trying to go out into the job market, especially
when you have a job that doesn’t translate very well into non-government
organizations. One of my friends told me about Workshops for Warriors. He told me
that they set up a resume, help you get certifications, and that most of the
people who graduate Workshops for Warriors end up with those jobs. That seemed like a
really good life decision for me, so I decided to do it.
My name is Zachary Pierobello, I’m 23 years old, and I’m from Orange County,
California. Right now there are 2.3 million advanced manufacturing jobs that
are going unfilled due to lack of skilled labor.
There is no nationally recognized pipeline to fill that skills gap. I
founded Workshops for Warriors because I wanted to change that. Our veterans are leaving service, perhaps
with a very specialized skill set, that might not fit in the existing workforce.
We’re always focused in trying to find ways to serve them better, but government
can’t provide all the answers that’s where Workshops for Warriors comes in.
They help create that pipeline to have people be competitive for those jobs.
Workshops for Warriors is the only accredited school in the nation that
does advanced manufacturing training for veterans, wounded warriors and
transitioning service members. But a veteran needs a lot more than just
training, and that’s where our partnership with Hire Heroes USA is so
important. As people get out of the military, there’s something that they’ve
never done before, and that’s find a job inside of the civilian job market. Hire
Heroes USA comes along and we help them talk about their soft skills. We’re gonna work
with them on their first probably ever resume. We’re gonna teach them how to
network. We’re gonna walk them through interviewing, including getting them a
mock interview, and at that time now they’re ready to really go out there and
do the job search. Whether they’ve been in 4 years or 25 years, a lot of them
have never done a civilian job search. They think, you know, I’m a senior manager
in the military, and so I’m gonna automatically be a senior manager in my
civilian job, and that’s not always the case.
Hire Heroes USA is teaching them those skills to go into the job fair, not only
to get a job, but getting a meaningful career. When employers see that you have four or
five years in the military, but that you don’t have any experience with the field
that you’re trying to get into, they’re not going to find you as a favorable
candidate. With Workshops for Warriors, you’re able to have something on paper
that says this guy knows what he’s doing. In the classroom, we’re working on
programming, learning SolidWorks, learning master CAM, and then when we’re in the
shop, we’re able to actually gain experience using the machines.
It’ll take the regular civilian company six to nine months to train somebody up
to be productive. With us, it takes 16 weeks. At the end of the 16 weeks,
companies are able to meet with the students, they are able to interview them, and
some students get hired right straight on the spot. As soon as I sat down and
began talking, I said I want that guy. Honestly, we were scared of hiring
someone who’s just learned how to machine in four months, but kind of what the
military does anyway, they learned a lot in a short period of time and they
excel rapidly. That’s what they’ve done at Solar Turbine, so we’re here for
the third time again. When you hire a veteran, you’re gonna get someone who’s
hard-working. Some of those skills that are hammered into us from day one when
we joined the military are things that transfer over and make us great
employees. There are a lot of veterans out there who have had a rough time. You
get these people who have given everything for their country and they
can’t support their families. That’s when you start to see the rise in the suicide
rate and the homeless rate. Giving them an opportunity to do something of
worth is invaluable. Workshops for Warriors are making a huge impact and training up
our vets so that we could support our families. They deserve our a little bit
of help that we can provide to get them in the civilian job market which is then
gonna benefit the country as a whole. We have more people asking for our services
than we can take every week, and there’s still a demand. So it’s important to
scale Hire Heroes because the need is out there. We have over 1 million young
men and women that will be departing the service over the next
five years. They’ve already served our nation in uniform and they want to serve
again, but this time in America’s manufacturing force.