A newly formed 501C3 Organization has been established that can bring new employment hope to wounded veterans, including those in wheelchairs. The Veterans Watchmaker Initiative is an organization dedicated to training disabled veterans with service-connected disabilities—for Free — in the art of watchmaking and watch repair—a field that is desperately seeking trained watchmakers.
Still in its infancy, the organization is currently seeking the right building to set up its watchmaking school – completely wheelchair accessible. The location will be in the northeast – perhaps New York State or Delaware. Additionally, the school is turning to top watch brands for sponsorship and funding donations to make the program work. Already, the school has a waiting list of veterans anxious to start the program, which is anticipated to be up and running in about nine months. It is prepared to offer training, support and referral services.
Executives at VWI include Sam Cannan, Chairman of the Board and Co-founder, who is also a master watchmaker, was previously director of a top watchmaking school, and executive director, Susan Musman, who has helped place veterans in watch schools around the country.
The concept of the VWI, to return dignity of purpose to the disabled veteran, has roots in a program that dates back to 1945 and the Joseph Bulova School of Watchmaking. Joseph Bulova’s son Arde Bulova wanted to repay the sacrifice of returning disabled veterans after World War II and so the school helped train an entire generation of American watchmakers by providing tuition-free education to disabled servicemen.