New York City-based supplier Bulova (PPAI 133171) has lent its support to the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative (VWMI) in Odessa, Delaware, as a founding sponsor. The mission of the VWMI is to give disabled veterans, whose unemployment rate is 82 percent, the opportunity to rebuild their lives by learning the lucrative skills of mechanical watchmaking at no cost to them, while simultaneously supplying an understaffed profession with well-trained new experts.

VWMI was established by Sam Cannan, a retired Baltimore police officer and Swiss-trained master watchmaker, who was inspired by a post-WWII program at Bulova that trained disabled veterans. Founded by Arde Bulova in 1945, the Joseph Bulova School opened in 1946 and operated for several decades before it was phased out in the 1980s when electronic watches became popular.

“Bulova is proud to make this contribution the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative for several reasons,” says Robert Christiano, executive vice president, global marketing. “By supporting the needs of men and women who have personally sacrificed to protect our nation, VWMI reprises a worthy program from Bulova’s past. And it will provide the new technical experts we need to keep our industry strong and moving forward.”