Classes begin at the Wood Technology Center

Stabilization & roofing project, Washington Hall, Seattle © 2012, photo by Kji Kelly, courtesy of Historic Seattle
Stabilization & roofing project, Washington Hall, Seattle © 2012 Kji Kelly, courtesy of Historic Seattle

Four King County-based veterans have just secured coveted spots in the first round of Vets Restore, a new initiative that offers training, mentoring, and job placement guidance for local veterans in preservation carpentry.

This year’s Vets Restore participants have already had some construction experience during or prior to their military service. To boost their skills and employability, they’re taking an intensive summer course in residential remodel and preservation at Seattle Central Community College’s Wood Technology Center. Afterward, they’ll complete a paid internship at the Washington Hall restoration project in the Central District, learning to restore or replicate original wood doors and windows.

Vets Restore has multiple goals.  Among them are:
•    Connecting returning veterans to jobs in a strong, sustainable trade
•    Restoring lives through work that is meaningful and valued in the community
•    Saving the best of our Northwest building stock by increasing the pool of skilled craftspeople

Primary support for these opportunities comes directly from the King County Veterans and Human Services Levy, passed overwhelmingly by voters in 2011.

The Vets Restore collaboration includes:
•    4Culture – the architect of Vets Restore. We’re actively recruiting construction industry partners, and helping with a media campaign to reach returning vets.
•    Historic Seattle – contributing practical, real-world job experiences for veterans at significant historic structures around Seattle.
•    King County Veterans’ Program – providing case management, tuition navigation support, carpentry tools and gear, transportation assistance, paid internships, and employment guidance in the field of remodel/preservation carpentry.
•    Seattle Central Community College – offering a new 18-credit coursework in remodel and preservation at its state-of-the-art Wood Technology Center, with an option to pursue an AAS degree or Certificate in Carpentry.

Interested in finding out more?  Visit the new Vets Restore website at, or contact us at:
•    Flo Lentz, Preservation 4Culture, at (206) 296-8682
•    Heather Dwyer, Arts 4Culture at (206) 296-8676

Image: King Street Station, Vets Restore video still © 2013, Nonfiction Media & Brody Willis