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First VetsBuild Class Completes Green Energy Training At United Way Of Long Island

The first ‘class’ of United Way of Long Island’s VetsBuild program, have completed their six-week course of study.  Graduates of the relatively new program – which is funded by a $100,000 grant from Bank of America – received green job training to help them transition into a possible career in the green construction industry.  Participants included returning military personnel who have recently served tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. 

Between 2011 and 2016, more than one million service members are projected to leave the military, but the unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans remains higher than the national average.  VetsBuild is co-administered by United Veterans Beacon House and United Way of Long Island. United Veterans Beacon House recruits veterans for the program and offers counseling and treatment for various mental health concerns.  United Way Long Island, which oversees the successful YouthBuild program (off which VetsBuild is premised), offers job training, career building and networking opportunities focused on the expanding energy efficiency and alternative energy industries. VetsBuild

Marine Corps veteran Tim Sargalski, who served two tours in Iraq and was discharged in 2011, recently completed the program with hopes of landing a job in weatherization or solar energy.  As a result of the VetsBuild training, he recently began working with a leading Long Island company in the weatherization industry. 

“United Way of Long Island is incredibly grateful to Bank of America for supporting the VetsBuild initiative.  This is a Bank of America signature program that mobilizes veterans to improve the regional economy in the high growth, high demand green construction industry.  We are thankful to Bank of America – as the key investor of this program – for helping to connect veterans to training opportunities, skilled educational experiences and supportive wrap-around services, which are all fundamental to creating family-sustaining income,” said Theresa Regnante, United Way of Long Island’s President and CEO.

The program is currently recruiting for its second class, set to begin in August.  For more information, contact Tim Scherer, United Veterans Beacon House, at 631.665.1571, or visit www.unitedwayli.org/income/vetsbuild.
 
Photo ID: Steve Muzyka (left), Housing and Green Initiatives Instructor at United Way of Long Island, guides VetsBuild students during a blown cellulose insulation demonstration.