A Social Enterprise
First project is design and build 250 dressers
Learn about AmeriCorps project HERE
Building furniture and futures
Phase 1 build a workshop
Jim Piscopo co-founder of Bridging AZ is a disabled Air Force veteran. One or our key initiatives is supporting veterans. Bridging is the primary resource for beds and clean furniture for Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness and their Project H3 Vets Because we have limited staff we can not offer services directly to individuals, if you are a veteran and are in need of furniture please contact your caseworker.
Bridging AZ has developed a furniture manufacturing program that is designed to engage and train Veterans primarily disabled veterans. This specially designed program is one that Veterans will be able to identify with. It is a peer to peer apprenticeship program taught by Veterans, professionals and business owners. Veterans who join our program will learn craftsmanship and manufacturing techniques to build a product line and custom furniture with varying degrees of specialty and intricacies.
Concept – a Tech School…But Different
Very little classroom. 80% hands on training and experience up-cycling used furniture plus basic to advanced woodworking and metal fabrication. To help fund the training and wages of veterans going through training we will sell products made in the USA by Veterans.
Our Veterans will gain a vast amount of experience of real world skill. The learning through an apprenticeship so veterans can earn as they learn! You can help by sponsoring a vet for a day, week or month. After its completion the Veterans who have partaken will have mastered custom manufacturing skills that will set them apart from the rest.
- After hands on with woodworking and metal comes the fun stuff such as a CNC router, AutoCAD, 3D printing and laser engraving.
So much more than a Tech School Hybrid
Veterans also get business management, business training knowledge and experience that will prepare them to take the technical and trade knowledge they’ve learned and start their own custom furniture and/or metal working business.
Veterans will have a chance to experience the following:
- Business accounting
- Web design
- Customer Service
We will ensure that after our training and mentor-ship that each of our Veterans are prepared to take the competency and trustworthiness they’ve learned in the military, use to be the best student and learn as much as possible, and become a entrepreneur and/or inventor.
After completion, veterans will be ready for the next phase of life as:
- A competent trusted employee
- A student who has discovered a new career
- An inventor or Entrepreneur
How to help:
We still need 3 more shipping containers See what others do and our future project
Volunteer as an instructor or welder – welding project
Equipment we still need equipment including a 8,000# or larger forklift. Please visit our wishlist for a short list of items needed or if you have woodworking/metal working tools contact us
Wood – yes we need solid wood and plywood to build furniture. Reclaimed wood or solid wood flooring is fine
Show us your design or what you want to make on Pinterest
Location – we are working out of out West Mesa furniture warehouse and still needs a modified 40′ container costs $4,400 – Next year the Veterans Furniture Project will need a home of their own – 6-10,000 sf of donated space to use as a studio and training center
Become a Hero and partner with us
For more information, feel free to contact Jim@BridgingAZ.org
Link to an article from the July 2013 American Legion Magazine