On Memorial Day, Americans honor the men and women who gave their lives for our country. Today -- when most people have the day off -- one North Highlands business was hard at work helping people who served in our armed forces.
The Security and Firearms Training Academy, or SAFTA, trained veterans and civilians for work in private security jobs. Sherryann Baker, whose son helped found the three-year-old company, says SAFTA had a 100 percent job placement rate and has helped hundreds of people start new careers in security.
"When they go already to get into the military, they have a service heart. So we already know when they come out that they want to still protect and help. So all we have to do is train them the California side – California law – to be able to do it on this level, the civilian level," Baker said.
Jessie Meeker, who served for eight years in the National Guard and did two tours in Iraq, now helped run training courses at the academy. He said many veterans struggle to find their way professionally.
"They're 24, 25-years-old, and served years in the military, but they don't have the college degrees or whatnot, so it is tough to get work. Plus you add in all the issues with PTSD, so there are definitely challenges," Meeker said.
Meeker said the qualities that define many veterans, discipline, integrity and honor, make them great candidates for security work.
"It's our little way of giving thanks to the veterans for giving sacrifices and it really means a lot to us that they can come through our training. We set the bar high for private security and then to see them go on, get hired and really start off a new career" is amazing, Meeker said.
SAFTA offered 40-hour and 80-hour certification courses. The 40-hour course costs $300 for civilians, with discounts offered for veterans. More information on the courses can be found at SAFTA's website.