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LICA Educational Foundation for Veterans Names Eddy S. Mayen as Executive Director

Tue November 29, 2022 - National Edition #25

The Land Improvement Contractors of America (LICA) Educational Foundation for Veterans announced that Eddy S. Mayen has assumed the role of its executive director.

The Foundation's mission is to train military veterans to become highly skilled heavy equipment operators for the construction industry. Mayen himself is a veteran of the U.S. Army, enlisted as an active duty artillery soldier, then serving in the New Jersey National Guard and achieving the rank of 1st Lieutenant.

Mayen's grant experience includes nine years at the New Jersey Department of State as Director of the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP), which awarded $7 million to New Jersey small businesses. He then served as National Director of the STEP grant program at the U.S. Small Business Administration headquarters in Washington, D.C.

"Eddy is a great communicator and uniquely qualified to take on this leadership role on behalf of the Foundation," said the organization's founder, Gerald Biuso Sr.

"I first became acquainted with him through the New Jersey chapter of LICA. Not only is he a military veteran; he has also worked extensively in grant-writing and has experience in land improvement."

The LICA Foundation has applied for grant funds to be awarded by the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge. The grant program, sponsored by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), has as its goal helping underserved Americans find good-paying jobs through partnerships with employers in need of trained workers. Mayen wrote the Foundation's grant proposal, outlining how it will develop an ongoing pipeline of highly skilled heavy equipment operators to help fill the thousands of existing open jobs, while supporting our nation's veterans.

The Foundation will work with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to identify candidates to participate in a comprehensive equipment training program. The curriculum includes simulator training on heavy equipment operation and safety protocols before advancing to field training that will be provided by LICA contractors, equipment dealers and subcontractors.

"In the military, there is no such thing as light equipment," Mayen said. "It's a natural career move for veterans to transition to the heavy equipment industry. They're accustomed to working independently while being part of a team, and have already been thoroughly trained to follow instructions, pay attention to detail, be great problem-solvers and constantly safety-conscious."

LICA members are committed to the mission by helping prepare veteransfor the workforce, providing good-paying jobs and offering flexibility with the challenges they may face when transitioning into civilian life.

"My role as executive director of the LICA Educational Foundation for Veterans isn't just a job," said Mayen. "It's a personal mission. I immigrated to the U.S. as a child, and I want my children to understand how good this country is, how important it is to me. What's been remarkable thus far is discovering just how dedicated LICA members are to helping veterans. I'm proud to be a part of the Foundation and am excited to see where we go."

Mayen can be reached by email at [email protected].

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