School for Vets Celebrates Students Embarking on Manufacturing Careers

Workshops for Warriors honored its 43 graduates with a ceremony.

Workshops for Warriors (WFW), a nonprofit school assisting Veterans who are transitioning into civilian life through advanced manufacturing training and nationally recognized certification, held its summer graduation at its Barrio Logan-based educational facility last week.

The school honored its 43 graduates with a ceremony that included remarks by Workshops for Warriors’ Founder and CEO Hernán Luis y Prado, two student speakers and comments by guest speaker, John Jones, Marine Corps veteran and development officer for Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.

“The ceremony was exceptionally memorable for a few reasons. First, Alex Funk became the school’s first veteran to receive all 25 possible welding credentials. This is a significant accomplishment and really speaks to his drive and passion for the industry. These honors allow graduates to immediately integrate into large and small manufacturing organizations throughout the United States,” Mr. Prado says. “In addition, my longtime friend, John Jones, who was my inspiration behind starting the school, provided an unforgettable speech. It was without a doubt a special day to recognize the graduates hard work as they transition into a thriving industry.”

Each semester runs 16 weeks and offers students credentials from top industry organizations such as the National Institute for Metalworking Skills, Mastercam University (computer-aided manufacturing), SolidWorks (computer-aided design) and the American Welding Society. 

In 2008, Hernàn Luis y Prado founded the organization after 15 years of active duty service as a U.S. Navy officer with combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He says, “I saw more of my fellow service members die of suicide and drugs than die from bombs and bullets. I needed to change that.” Since 2011, WFW’s current total number of graduates after last week’s summer graduation comes to 321.