Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation awards $7500 grant to Work Vessels for Vets, Inc. for New Program for Veteran-Owned Technology Businesses
MYSTIC, CONNECTICUT - “America’s military are trained to use the latest in technology to execute their mission,” says John Niekrash, founder and President of Work Vessels for Vets, a Mystic-based charity that awards equipment to injured veterans who are starting a business. “When they turn in their uniforms, many former warriors look to translate their training to start high-tech civilian businesses.”
“Lately, we have been receiving applications for top of the line computer equipment for injured veterans who are opening cyber security businesses; or for drones to do surveillance for clients; even for virtual reality equipment for healthcare training programs,” said Cathy Cook, Executive Director of the charity. “That’s why we were thrilled when Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation came forward with a grant of $7500 to underwrite our new Work Vessels for Vets Program for Veteran-Owned Technology Businesses.”
US Navy veteran Carla Bond of Maryland is the first recipient of technology equipment from this program. While in the Navy she became a Lead Instructor and ultimately led Navy qualification training for certification of new Corpsman. She currently serves as a volunteer EMT and a Maryland Emergency Management Agency Instructor. Carla has created a unique virtual reality training program to recertify healthcare and first responder personnel for their annual CPR training.
“With only 5% of people in the US being trained in CPR, and according AHA statistics sudden cardiac arrest kills 1 person every 2 mins there is a definite need for people to be trained in CPR. The traditional classroom methods of learning are not appealing to the millennial consumer and it has a very low student rate. With the proven benefits of learning using VR technology,” says Bond, “I feel I will surpass my competition.” [VR student pictured]
“A significant number of employees at Dominion Energy’s Millstone Power Station are veterans who have now formed a veterans employee resource group to support one another in their post-military careers,” offered Nancy Bulkeley, Senior Community Affairs Representative for Dominion Energy.
“The Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation and the employees of our Millstone Power Station are pleased to support this important new program to help veterans. They have served admirably in their military careers and it is our pleasure to help them transition into their civilian careers,” said Kevin R, Hennessy, Senior Policy Director at Dominion Energy.
Work Vessels for Vets is a unique national charity. No other nonprofit is solely dedicated to equipping a veteran-owned start up business. Since 2008, the awards have ranged from commercial fishing boats to farm tractors, skid loaders, hay balers, trucks, trailers, UTVs, blueberry bushes, and even a therapy horse! More than 2000 veterans across all 50 states have received equipment valued at over $3 million from this group of volunteers from southeastern Connecticut.
A recent survey of WVFV awardees revealed that more than $10 Million in economic activity per year is being generated by the hundreds of new veteran-owned businesses who have created over 1000 new jobs. Through this journey Work Vessels for Vets has remained a small but mighty, all-volunteer organization, maintaining an administrative overhead under 1%! They have annually earned the Great Nonprofits TOP RATED NONPROFIT award, the coveted PLATINUM RATING by GUIDESTAR, the national charity evaluator for efficiency, transparency and effectiveness of mission. In addition, Work Vessels for Vets, Inc has achieved designation as an Accredited Charity by the national Better Business Bureau reviewers.