multiple HAAS VF- 2 CNC mills and CNC lathes, a Flow
waterjet, multiple Amada CNC press breaks and CNC
lasers, multiple Betenbender sheers and press breaks,
HE&M SAWs, and Scotchman saws.
San Diego was picked as WFW’s home base since it
is where more veterans leave the service than anywhere
else — about 17,000 leave the service there each year.
Credentials Offered At WFW
••Shielded Metal Arc Welding Basic (SMAWB)
• Gas Metal Arc Welding Basic (GMAWB)
• Gas Tungsten Arc Welding Basic (GTAWB)
• Gas Tungsten Arc Welding Intermediate (GTAWI)
• Flux Cored Arc Welding Basic (FCAWB)
• Mastercam University
• National Institute for Metalworking Skills
• National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3)
• Renishaw Ballbar Training Program
• FlowMaster Programming & Waterjet Operations
• American Red Cross CPR/AED and First Aid
• Amada FOM2
• OSHA: Outreach Training Program
Luis y Prado says the strict environmental regulations in
California are also a welcome challenge.
“If we can make it here, we can make it anywhere,” he
says. “We wanted to do something that benefits veterans, is
safe, environmentally friendly and sustainable.”
The valuable skills learned through WFW is something
students bring with them as they start their advanced
“Everyone wants our graduates,” DiSilvestro says.
“We teach our students everything from art to part, so when
they go into a company instead of calling someone when
something breaks, they know how to fix it because we
teach them everything we can about that machine.
A job that used to require four people now only has to
Although overhead is kept to a minimum, it costs about
$180,000 per month to operate the WFW San Diego facility.
The average cost per student per semester is $20,268, or
$30,268 if a needs-based living stipend is provided. GI Bill
benefits can’t be utilized yet — the organization is currently
in year six of the lengthy eight-year process — so WFW
operates off of philanthropic donations and proceeds from its
social enterprise, VetPowered.
If everything goes according to plan, WFW will be eligible
to receive federal funding in April 2019.
“Once that happens, the school will be self-sustaining,”
DiSilvestro says. “It’s going to be a game-changer.”
Brian Riley, United States Marine Corps Veteran, works on a Haas Automation, Inc. CNC Lathe as part of the
Workshops for Warriors 16-week machining program, earning him nationally recognized credentials from the
National Institute for Metalworking Skills. (WFW photo)