Rotary Club of Del Mar members tour Workshops for Warriors campus, donate $5,000

Rotary Club of Del Mar members
Rotary Club of Del Mar members at WFW: Pat Caughey, John O'Halloran, Matt Kurth, Klaus Gubernator, Linda Groom, Janice Kurth, Donna Fipps, Sharon Schendel, Val Myers, Rachel Luis y Prado, Suzy Wagner, Karl Wagner, Marty Peters

Near the General Dynamics NASSCO and BAE Systems shipbuilding and repair sites is a place of transformation: Workshops for Warriors (WFW), where around 200 students annually take intensive four-month training programs in machining or welding. Upon earning portable and stackable credentials, around 95% of WFW students receive job offers. Graduates work at a range of major manufacturers like Boeing, Ford, General Dynamics, and SpaceX.

On April 14, Rotary Club of Del Mar members toured the WFW campus led by CFO and Chief Academic Officer Rachel Luis y Prado and Director of Operations Keshia Javis-Jones, who is a Marine Corps veteran. Luis y Prado is married to WFW founder and CEO Hernán Luis y Prado.

WFW student D’Marcus Smith
WFW student D’Marcus Smith with Welding Teaching Assistant Keith Winslett show details of a welding project to Rotary Club of Del Mar members.

WFW began in Hernán’s garage in 2008 and the campus opened in 2011. A Navy veteran, Hernán realized the need for resources to help veterans transition from military to civilian life. The need is urgent in San Diego County, which has one of the largest veteran populations in the United States.

Students learn about WFW through word-of-mouth or collaborating partners such as Camp Pendleton. Accessibility is a key goal of WFW. Students who qualify receive scholarships and living assistance and the accelerated training program allows students to start earning robust salaries rapidly.

Machining Teaching Assistant Randall Uerkvitz
Machining Teaching Assistant Randall Uerkvitz explains machining coursework and emphasized that WFW has a “leave no one behind” approach so that all students can gain needed skills to obtain credentials.

In 2022, WFW will surpass 1,000 graduates who will fill emerging gaps in the manufacturing sector: skilled machinists and welders are retiring and the demand for skilled workers is high. WFW is undertaking a capital campaign that will substantially expand the campus to serve more students.

Rotary Club of Del Mar donated $5,000 to help WFW ensure that veterans transition from the military to high-paying, in-demand jobs. To learn about WFW visit, and for Rotary Club of Del Mar visit delmarrotary or email — Report by Sharon Schendel, Rotary Club of Del Mar