Vets Restore Connects Veterans with Building Restoration to Close Gap Between Military Training and Job Market
4Cultureâ€™s new program gives life to vintage buildings by pairing returning military veterans with restoration as career path
SEATTLE â€“ (Oct. 15, 2014) â€“ For the fourth year in a row, veterans are having a harder time finding a job than non-veterans. They believe they have the skills needed to land their ideal job, but 60 percent of new veterans express concerns about how to translate their expertise into a business environment, according to a 2012 survey from Prudential Financial, Inc.
4Culture, an agency committed to advancing community through culture, created Vets Restore to help bridge this gap by connecting local veterans with jobs in building rehabilitation. With one-on-one training, paid internships, and career counseling, Vets Restore helps veterans translate their military service to the civilian job market by bringing new life to vintage houses, commercial buildings, schools, churches, and halls.
â€œI was a machine gunner, and I went overseas to Iraq and to Afghanistan â€“ two deployments,â€ said Evan Moran, a young veteran working in construction. â€œThe main thing about the military is discipline and attention to detail. And in restoration work, itâ€™s nothing but discipline and attention to detail.â€
The 12-week preservation carpentry training debuted in 2013, with three participants graduating from its pilot program. In 2014, Vets Restore is working with five military veterans at Washington Hall, a historic performance hall in Seattleâ€™s Central District neighborhood. After industry experts share preservation principles and techniques, the participants will have several weeks of hands-on work restoring the hallâ€™s original wood windows.
â€œThe personalized carpentry training combined with tangible job experience will give veterans a huge advantage in the growing field of building renovation,â€ said Flo Lentz, program coordinator. â€œOn a more personal level, it also connects returning veterans with places back home with work that is valued in their communities.â€
Vets Restore is a program created by 4Culture, in partnership with Historic Seattle and King County Veteransâ€™ Program. The veteransâ€™ internship wages are backed by funding from the King County Veterans and Human Services Levy. Construction affiliates providing the on-the-job training include Bear Wood Windows. Inc., J.A.S Design-Build, Rafn Company, Susan Black & Associates, and Abacus Fine Carpentry LLC.
For more information on Vets Restore or to participate in the program, visit vetsrestore.org.
4Culture is a unique integration of the arts, heritage, preservation and public art; committed to advancing community through culture. Public exhibitions and performances, public art, preservation of significant sites and interpretation of local history deepen our connections to the places in which we live and work. 4Culture stimulates cultural activity and enhances the assets that distinguish a community as vibrant, unique and authentic. 4Culture.org
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