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A handy business to help Hawaii veterans - Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather - KITV Channel 4

A handy business to help Hawaii veterans

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      A local handyman business is rapidly growing as it helps veterans find jobs and careers outside of the military.

U.S. Servicemen and Servicewomen receive highly skilled training for jobs in the military. But when their service time is up, some may not be prepared for jobs in the civilian world.

"The government doesn't do the best at giving us a ton of options when we get out. If you didn't have anything lined up, you have to figure it out yourself," said Andrew Compean, with Handy Andy Hawaii.

Compean spent ten years in the Air Force, and saw first hand how some fellow veterans struggled to join the workforce.  

"I feel like if you have an opportunity, it is our duty to make sure others have the opportunity as well. It's not if you do well in life, you have to provide for others as well," added Compean.

He started up Handy Andy Hawaii last January. The home maintenance business attracted veterans and quickly grew.

"We started with three guys, and we started advertising we are a veteran transitional company. We hired 16 guys on the handyman side within the year," stated Compean.

Jordan Sommers is one veteran whose skills learned in the service doesn't have a lot of practical use as a civilian.

"Being a combat engineer, I dealt with demolition. I don't do that anymore, but I use attention to detail on daily activities," said Sommers, a U.S. Army Veteran.

Attention to detail is one skill veterans may have already learned, which makes them appealing as employees. 
Even though they may not have electrical, carpentry or construction skills usually found at a work site.

"When they come on our team, we know veterans know how to show up on time, wear a uniform and take direction," said Richard Elliott, with Handy Andy Hawaii Construction.

Elliott adds the necessary skills can be learned on the job, including more advanced construction and remodeling work. Services Handy Andy Hawaii added as it expanded.
Next, the company will launch warranty service and an accredited trade school in April to teach veterans and others workers skills needed in the construction industry 

"Our responsibility is to lead them, and give them opportunity and training to make the right choices. So they can move down the path and develop a career," stated Elliott.

The hope is veterans not only take maintenance and construction skills to heart, but also take them home - to build a business of their own.

"These guys learn our systems and processes, and once they are competent and we feel comfortable, then they can go to the area they came from and start their own location," said Compean. 

For their efforts helping veterans work on more than just jobs but careers, Handy Andy Hawaii earned our MVP honors.
This local business also gets the approval of veterans themselves, who have been helped by the company.

"I would say to other veterans, this is an opportunity when they get out to still feel that brotherhood and feel they are with a family. Not just here to work with them, but take care of them on the outside too," added Sommers.
 

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