Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 29

'I was always super crafty, and I loved
the outside, so why not try construction?'
-Celina Wojnar

As a military spouse, Celina Wojnar was eligible to participate in the
Home Builders Institute program. She now is a carpenter and assists
the safety manager at Atlanta-based Choate Construction. The
company recruited students in her HBI class.

director of The Home Depot Foundation.
"We've had 115 programs in [Department of Labor] job
core centers around the country, and now we have seven on
military bases, with the number growing," says Ed Brady, president and CEO of the HBI. "Partnering with The Home Depot
Foundation is helping us build capacity and attract other new
partners."
The HBI construction-skills course delivers 12 weeks of
textbook and hands-on learning needed to begin work and to
pursue a career path to management or business ownership.
While soldiers gain leadership, experience and a work
ethic prized by employers, it sometimes can be challenging to
find ways to translate their military skills into civilian jobs.
"Many join the armed forces right out of high school, and
when they leave they are unsure of what they want to do to
support their families," Brady says. "Thanks to the foundation,
the HBI education is free and doesn't use a cent of their GI Bill
[which provides financial assistance for soldiers' education or
training costs] should they want to get more education."

Experienced instructors, Team Depot volunteers and military employability coaches bring in a
variety of prospective employers to interview graduates. About 112 soldiers will go through the program
every year at Fort Stewart Army Base near Savannah,
with a current job-placement rate of 91 percent,
Brady says.

Embarking on the next chapter
Dustin Keyes graduated from the HBI program
at Fort Stewart. He served 25 years and completed
three tours in Afghanistan and two in Iraq before
retiring from the Army as chief warrant officer three.
"I wasn't sure what I wanted to do when I got
out, but I did woodworking as a hobby," Keyes says.
"The HBI program, with its job training and placement assistance, sounded great."
Keyes planned to join the carpenters union.
"I took their tests and discovered I could enter
the trade at journeyman level," he says.
The pay and job security were attractive, but not
the travel from project to project. After having been
deployed so much, he wanted to stay home with his
family. His wife is still on active duty and was transferred to Fort Hood Army Base in Texas.
www.georgiamagazine.org

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Georgia Magazine - November 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - November 2019

Contents
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 4
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 5
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 6
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 7
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 8
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 9
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 10
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 11
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 12
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 13
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 14
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 15
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 16
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 17
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 18
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 19
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 20
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 21
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 22
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 23
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 24
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 25
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 26
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 27
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 28
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 29
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 30
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 31
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 32
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 33
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 34
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 35
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 36
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 37
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 38
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 39
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 40
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 41
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - 42
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - November 2019 - Cover4
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