Roman Martin, a 26-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, returned home to Long Island after completing his service last year. When he started thinking seriously about building a life there, he turned to United Veterans Beacon House (UVBH) for support. The Bay Shore, NY-based nonprofit, with 27 housing locations throughout Long Island, helps local veterans get back on their feet through job training, life planning, emergency, transitional and permanent housing, case management and other services.
In 2011, UVBH developed a new job training program in response to economic demand. The VetsBuild program teaches veterans the green building skills needed for today’s home construction industry. Martin enrolled in VetsBuild last year at the urging of his UVBH case manager, Tim Scherer. He graduated from the five-week program over the summer, eager to put his training to work for a green construction company on the island.
As a graduate, Martin had access to job placement services through UVBH. Candidates like him receive preference in hiring, as part of a partnership between the nonprofit and local employers. “VetsBuild’s a lot more than just finding a job,” said Frank Amalfitano, President and CEO of UVBH. “We support the veterans and their families – make them part of the community again, the community they left to go to war.”
The veterans who come through UVBH gain confidence from knowing that someone at home has their back, just like when they were in the military. Bank of America is part of the network of businesses that has committed to serving veterans on Long Island and beyond. In fact, the bank was at the table with UVBH and the United Way when they conceived of VetsBuild – and supplied the initial funding. “The bottom line is we support our military, said Lorraine Aycock, Bank of America Market Manager for Long Island. “This program exemplifies that support.”