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Local veteran is helped after GI bill trade school shuts its doors

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DAVENPORT - A local labor union and contractor have teamed up to help a Quad City veteran, after a trade school for soldiers shut its doors three weeks before graduation.

Dallas Wild of Moline attended the $21,000 six week program through the GI bill.

Last month, he and 300 other veterans were told to pack their bags and go home, after a federal raid.  The Retail Ready Career Center in Garland, Texas promised HVAC certification and jobs in the field. Wild and the others left with neither.

After hearing his story on WQAD-TV,  Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local 25 out of Rock Island sent an email blast to local contractors, telling of Wild's plight.

"Within a day, I got a phone call. Bill Allison (with Local 25) said, I sent your resume out to our contractors. Within 30 minutes, I had a call from Mr. Nate over here, asking me to come in for an interview.

Nate Johnson, Operations Manager with Northwest Mechanical Inc. interviewed Wild and within the day, he was hired.

"I was impressed," said Johnson. "I think he's going to be great, I see great plans for his future," he said.

"He's a military veteran, we all have a soft spot in our heart for military guys," said Bill Durand, the company's General Manager of the Service Division.

"We employ a lot of vets. We know what we're getting," he said.

Bill Allison with Local 25 sent the emails and has offered an apprenticeship to Wild, to learn the heating and air conditioning business, the trade he was studying  in Texas. He left home in Moline to better himself, and was unsure where to turn next.

"I was only getting offers for 13 dollars and hour and when you have a car and insurance and other payments, it's hard to afford that," he said.

Many veterans at the school are still looking for answers, and a job.

"Unfortunately, a lot of veterans are getting hung up on when they call the VA. But, I feel great. Thank you so much. I got a job!", he said. "

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