Photo courtesy of Addabbo's office
The Veteran Initiative CEO Bill Vallely (l.) meets with state Senator Joseph Addabbo to explain how his program benefits vets.

Always on the lookout for innovative ways to support former servicemen and women, state Senator Joseph Addabbo recently met with a representative from The Veteran Initiative, an organization dedicated to training, certifying and employing veterans in the automotive industry.

The merger of Veterans Rebuilding Life (VRL) and the Collision Training Institute (C.T.I.) facilitated the creation of The Veteran Initiative, whose CEO Bill Vallely, a veteran himself, visited with Addabbo in his Howard Beach district office to explain the initiative, how it works and how it can benefit returning veterans.

“I was very intrigued when I heard about The Veteran Initiative, so I had to find out more about what they are doing to help our veterans,” said Addabbo, a member of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs. “Once I met with Bill as saw his passion for this program, I knew it would go a long way in benefiting veterans. It is sad to see so many veterans struggling when they return from their service, so providing them with this training and job placement is an incredible service.”

Through the program, veterans can choose one of three different training paths: Introduction to Estimating, Office Management/Customer Service or Parts Manager.

“C.T.I. was created as a labor of passion,” Vallely said. “If I can take control, solve the veteran unemployment problem for my brothers and sisters, while creating a talent pool for my industry, I can live up to the C.T.I. ethos: Nemo Post Tergum, leave no one behind.”

For more information about The Veterans Initiative, visit their website, or call 718-606-6349.

“I would like to thank Bill for bringing this initiative to my attention, and all the members of VRL and C.T.I. for providing this service to our veterans,” Addabbo said. “I look forward to assisting in any way I can to make The Veterans Initiative a thriving success.”

Addabbo also announced he will be bringing his new event series, Java with Joe, to Woodhaven to give residents an opportunity to speak with him directly on any matters thy wish to discuss. On Saturday. Nov. 23, he will be at the Avenue Diner, located at 91-06 Jamaica Ave. from 10 to 11:30 a.m., where he will meet with constituents.

“I am pleasantly surprised at how popular this new event series has been,” Addabbo said. “I know it may be difficult for some of my constituents to set up a meeting with me during normal business hours, so I’m happy to make myself more available for these individuals — either during my Mobile Office Hours or Java with Joe events — because hearing their issues and trying to resolve them are important to me.”

Addabbo will encourage anyone who comes to speak with him make a purchase at Avenue Diner to help support local business. The owners of Avenue Diner have agreed to donate a portion of the proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

For more information call Addabbo’s office at 718-738-1111.

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