Success Stories

Kendell, Class of 2016

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Kendell Discovered His Love for Machining at Workshops for Warriors and Had a Job Lined Up Two Weeks Before Graduation

Kendell is a four-year Navy Veteran who followed in his Godfather and Father’s footsteps. Although attending school as a business major initially, he didn’t feel that school was right for him at the time, so he joined the military where he participated in two deployments.

“My godfather who raised me was in the Navy for 20 years before retiring and my father was as well. When I had the military on my mind I was thinking about a military career, something like my godfather. That just didn’t work out. I enjoyed my time in the Navy but was ready to move on.”

Kendell found Workshops for Warriors while he was still active duty through a few Marines who were stationed at his same base. They were attending the summer semester classes and gave him all of the information he needed to learn more, exposing him to machining, which is something that was never on his radar as a possible career.

“I never thought I would be working with machines or anything like that. Before I found this program I always thought I would be doing something with electrical because that’s what I did in the Navy. But, I love doing it now. I didn’t even know anything about it before and now I love it.”

Through an advertisement on Craigslist, Kendell found a position as a CNC machinist/ programmer for Proto 1 Designs. He’s now held the job for three weeks and explained that he uses the credentials he earned at Workshops for Warriors every single day.

“I work at a prototype company as their machinist, programmer guy; we work on anything. Right now we’re working on a project for a brewery that’s right next door to us.” He added, “there is absolutely no question I got it because of my training [at Workshops].”

As far as the impact this new career has on Kendell’s future, he explained that without this training he isn’t sure where he would be. He now plans to eventually go back to school to advance in the industry.

“I found Workshops for Warriors when I had 6 months left and it’s just been a blessing. Right now I’d probably be in school trying to figure out what I’m gonna do for the rest of my life or what I’m gonna be doing for money, for a living. I was just going to go back to school, just try to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. But I don’t think I would have been working immediately like I am now.”

He added, “[Because of Workshops], I already had a plan, a job lined up, two weeks before I graduated. It was a tremendous experience, one of a kind training that you can’t find anywhere else in the country, probably the world. I do plan on doing this as a career for the rest of my life. I want to go back to school, maybe to become a mechanical engineer.”

In just one 16-week semester, Kendell earned 8 nationally recognized credentials:

  • Mastercam – Lathe Design and Toolpaths X9
  • Mastercan – Advanced Mill Design and Toolpaths X6
  • National Institute for Metalworking Skills – CNC Milling Operator
  • National Institute for Metalworking Skills – CNC Milling: Programming Setup & Operations
  • National Institute for Metalworking Skills – CNC Turning: Programming Setup & Operations
  • National Institute for Metalworking Skills – CNC Milling Skills II
  • SolidWorks – Certified SolidWorks Professional (CSWP)
  • SolidWorks – Certified SolidWorks Professional Advanced – Sheet Metal (CSWPA – SM)