A grand opening was held on Wednesday, Sept. 13, for the Veterans Watchmaker Initiative, which teaches veterans to make and fix watches as a new career.
The school building is at 307 Sixth St., Odessa, and is owned by the New Castle County which leases the building to the nonprofit school for $1 a year. Classes started on Tuesday, Sept. 12, and are held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, for 16 months.
Sam Cannan of the Dover area and Susan Musmann of Long Island, N.Y. co-founded the school as a career for veterans. There is no charge for students to attend the school. Currently there are six students and two teachers.
The school is modeled after the Bulova Watch Co. program, which trained disabled veterans for many decades, but the program was phased out in the 1980s when electronic watches became popular.
Since then, a new demand for mechanical watches has resulted in a shortage of watchmakers. Cannan’s vision was to train veterans at no cost. He renovated the former EMT building in Odessa with the help of many volunteers and donations.
At the grand opening, a tent was set up outside where various officials made remarks and some give monetary donations. Afterward, there was a ribbon cutting and people could tour the school.