New Classes Offer Veterans Hands-On Job Training
A new program is giving veterans the job training they need to ease back into civilian life. It's offered through the Veterans Outreach Center and its partner, the Rochester City School District.
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"Not only is there finesse, you have to have an understanding of your surroundings and everything that you touch and we're dealing with electricity here," said Maurice Howard.
Getting back into the workforce has been a difficult task for Howard.
"I'm competing amongst, young people fresh out of college, you know, people who've been around for awhile and have a lot of tools under their belt."
The Navy veteran has served in the military since he was 17.
"I do have skills that come from the military but a lot of them are not applicable in a civilian world."
He is one of 12 vets in this two-week welding boot camp. The class teaches veterans hands on employment training to get them certified and ready for a career.
"They are learning enough to where they can get an entry level position in some of the manufacturing companies here in Rochester," said Dan Collins, metal trades teacher.
This is the first time time hands-on job training classes have been offered by the VOC and its partners. The hope is to add even more classes to the roster that will deliver valid certification to veterans.
"This is our first try of working with the Veterans Outreach Center and very, very rewarding to work with veterans to teach them and actually influence them to get them a job; to me, it is probably one of the most rewarding things I could ever do," said Collins.
While some of these vets are hoping to land a job, others are hoping to pick up a skill.
"It's just another trade to have that's going to be useful to help me in my businesses," said Dan Cummings.
All of them will receive their certification this week during a graduation. Those like Howard are hoping it will give him the tools to impact his life.
"I want to step into machinist trade with this. It's a lucrative business."