Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School and Veterans Northeast Outreach Center are developing a partnership to assist area veterans.
Whittier Superintendent Maureen Lynch said a recent school visit was coordinated by Vocational Coordinator Paul Moskevitz and involved Veterans Northeast Outreach Center Outreach Coordinator Jim Behen and various Whittier Tech instructors, including HVAC Instructor Scott Marchand, Auto Body Instructors Paul Debenedictis and Steve Polidoro, Auto Tech Instructor Gene Thomas, Marine Tech Instructor Mike Murray, Advanced Manufacturing Instructor Bruce Boisselle and Plumbing Instructor Eli Roy.
“Anything we can do to help veterans, we would love to help out,” said Debenedictis.
As a result of the visit, Veterans Northeast found a match with Whittier’s Auto Body, Auto Tech, Marine Tech and Plumbing programs, among others, with a goal to assist local veterans—some of which are retired, living with disabilities and/or are on social security—with services to help ease the financial burden.
Behen’s background in vocational education inspired the idea for this partnership. He attended North Shore Tech and then joined the Marines right after graduation.
“I know what benefits a tech school gives,” said Behen. “Why there are not more people coming to tech schools for these services, I don’t know. It gives these students hands-on learning experiences while also helping ease the financial burden for our veterans. We have people driving around in vehicles that I have no idea how they even passed inspection.”
The veterans’ organization would also like to partner with Whittier’s Parade of Flags Initiative, which aims to honor all Whittier Tech community members and alumni, as well as Whittier Tech staff and family members of staff, who have served in the armed forces. For the week preceding Veterans Day, a line of flags is put on display lining part of the Whittier driveway near the front of the building.