Senator Jack Reed joins Building Futures in Celebrating RI’s veterans
On November 9th, Building Futures, the organizational home of Apprenticeship RI, partnered with Senator Jack Reed to recognize and honor RI’s veteran apprentices. The Registered Apprenticeship model is demonstrating significant success in ensuring meaningful and high quality employment for veterans, while also addressing employer and industry needs. This heartfelt panel enabled the sharing of best practices from both the employer and veteran perspectives.
Senator Jack Reed praised Rhode Island for its commitment to the apprenticeship model – both in traditional construction trades and in non-traditional industries. Statewide, there are 1800 Registered Apprentices, including 114 veterans.
Andrew Cortes, Building Futures’ Executive Director, noted, “We have seen that Apprenticeship is a particularly good fit for transitioning service members because it is paid employment from day one – providing skill development and wage advancement within a short period of time.” Jayleen Roman, US Coast Guard Veteran, underscored this point, “The Maritime Pipefitting and Welding Apprenticeship at General Dynamics Electric Boat enables me to combine post-secondary education and full-time work with the full support of my employer. It allows me to support my family and continue to serve my country.”
Employers benefit as much as the veterans. Kasim Yarn, Director or the RI Office of Veterans Affairs added, “Veterans bring a host of success factors including communication, responsibility, and teamwork that transfer to apprenticeship.” In fact, at AstroNova, Inc. 47% of the apprentices in its new Electronics Technician Apprenticeship are veterans.
The panelists were united on the importance on promoting the Registered Apprenticeship model to Veterans. Director Yarn emphasized, “Veterans deserve good, solid civilian careers; the Registered Apprenticeship model ensures this outcome. Veterans can use their G.I. Bill Benefits for apprenticeships and they can also get credit for prior learning based on military service, accelerating program completion. It’s a winning combination for veterans, employers and our country.”