Two dozen veterans graduated today from a first-of-its-kind internship right here in East Tennessee.
The US Department of Energy sponsored the advanced manufacturing internship. Veterans spent time in class at Pellissippi State and in the lab at ORNL.
Leaders say it's a way for our veterans to transition from the service to civilian life and learn about a growing industry.
"Wr have a workforce that is coming out of the Army, coming out of the military, and needs some sort of transition and this is in my opinion the perfect way to do that," said participant and Army veteran Nicholas Leak.
"We're creating great job opportunities for America's veterans and America's young people and giving them the skills to lead the future. We're creating the groundwork for prosperity for the nation and reducing carbon. It's a win-win all the way around," said Daniel Poneman, Deputy Secretary of U.S. Energy.
The veterans specifically worked with 3-D printing during the program. Some have already received attention from possible employers.
One of the graduates of the program is an Army veteran wounded in Afghanistan. He sat down with John Becker in our Service and Sacrifice segment earlier this week. You can see that interview attached to this story.
Walter Reed Department of Energy New Mexico east Tennessee cad software crown landing drilling season life challenges new skill Tennessee Cadillac Mexico
Friday, an Army veteran wounded in Afghanistan will graduate from a new advanced manufacturing internship.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
00:00 Tomorrow an army veteran wounded in Afghanistan will graduate from
00:04 the new advanced manufacturing intern ship. He sat down with WB
00:08 IR ten news anchor John Becker earlier this week. To talk
00:11 more about his service and his future career -- -- our
00:18 ongoing look at the lives in life challenges of east Tennessee
00:21 veterans we are meeting a wounded warrior who is wrapping up
00:24 an advanced manufacturing internship he hopes will lead to a new
00:28 career. Joseph brown announced he stepped on an IED while deployed.
00:33 With his army unit in Afghanistan damage from that blast required
00:37 a rare radical amputation of his lower body doctor Scott. He
00:41 would only live a few weeks but he survived in joins
00:44 us now to share his story and talk about his experience
00:47 here in east Tennessee. You're a native of New Mexico and
00:50 we welcome you to east Tennessee for the class is that
00:53 you've been going through. Joseph let's first talk about. You're you're
00:58 injury Afghanistan what do you remember about that. I remember him.
01:02 He was a blast you were helping actually pull another of
01:05 your fellow soldiers off the battlefield and a stretcher right in
01:08 you have misstep on an IED. So yes we're pulling. A
01:13 friend of ours. She's on a stretcher at the time when
01:16 I'm linked let's remainder of my squad. And as we are
01:20 heading towards. The initial. Zone we're gonna -- from drops on
01:25 crown landing -- -- -- That's when I did step on
01:29 and further right in the ground. And you list who spent
01:33 at least a year and a half at Walter Reed getting
01:36 treatment and more recovery and therapy I imagine after that. But
01:39 I wanted to read our viewers. It's what you said on.
01:44 Upon you or your wall at Walter Reed. To all who
01:48 enter here if you were coming into this room with sorrow
01:51 or to feel sorry for my wounds go elsewhere. It sounds
01:55 like you have not let this injury define you and you
01:58 were here in east Tennessee learning a new skill. Let's talk
02:01 about that's what brought you here. Mind. It was my appreciation
02:08 and my obsession with mechanics drilling season. I always like trying
02:14 to figure out. How to fix things and use tools and
02:18 a constructive way ever since I was little kid I remember
02:22 I was transfixed -- by. And and almost feels like --
02:26 trying to fix from -- from scratch disease. That it really
02:29 have been the right kind of parts of the house --
02:32 is trying to figure out and find ways to fix it.
02:34 And ultimately one -- it actually was fixed the right way
02:38 and in his right in prison like a Cadillac you figured
02:42 out. So through the through this partnership through Department of Energy
02:46 OR AU pellets -- also all are now. You have to
02:51 develop some new skill sets -- -- in the idea of
02:54 gaining some engineering experience for the last six weeks. Can you
02:57 hope to apply that to a new career what are you
02:59 looking at doing. I like to be. Course designer. And through
03:05 auto cad software. Four creating products through security prison. Season and
03:11 that's been part of this internship is learning about that process.
03:15 Yes what's been the most impressive part of this whole experience
03:18 for you. Learning about all the materials that exists in our
03:22 world. And learn about the composite materials. How we can. Mixed.
03:30 One material to another and make us stronger compound. Joseph to
03:36 fellow soldiers who have been injured report to people who may
03:39 be struggling in their lives that your story seems to be
03:42 an inspiration what what do you have to say about. Where
03:45 you are now where you hope to go. Well I see
03:50 myself from doing this job. And excelling and learning everything step
03:55 by step piece by piece. And I don't really have any
03:59 -- outlook -- that. Now in terms of helping other people.
04:05 And I hope I can at least couldn't help guide them
04:08 whenever they needed. -- If anybody wants to find a way
04:13 to act can hope and -- -- industry. It's getting Americans
04:17 back in the factory. Do in this kind of work building
04:22 things. American products. What we appreciate your service congratulations on graduation.
04:28 Good luck on Friday I think -- and we'll be back
04:31 right after this.