Raleigh-based nonprofit Vets to Drones receives $50K grant from Truist Bank

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Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Nonprofit gets $50K to train veterans as commercial drone pilots
Vets to Drones founder Chris Lewis said drone pilot training is a natural fit for veterans.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Raleigh-based nonprofit Vets to Drones received a $50,000 grant from Truist Bank on Tuesday.

The check presentation was recorded by a drone on top of the Truist building in downtown Raleigh.

Vets to Drones started less than a year ago. The group provides training for veterans to become licensed drone pilots for everything from power line inspections to telecommunications, natural disaster response, and search and rescue.

Vets To Drones founder Chris Lewis said the training is a natural fit for veterans.

"I was using a lot of the skills I learned from the military and the drone industry," Lewis explained. "And then I met other veterans from within the industry."

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We realized that this is probably the perfect career choice for any veteran that's interested in using the skills that were gained in the military out here in the civilian world.

The grant from Truist will go toward training and equipment. That's our primary function right now. It helps train and prepare the veterans in a program to enter the commercial drone industry and workforce development. This grant today is going towards K-12 education, natural disaster response, reforestation, and recreational therapy."

Vets to Drones has trained more than 800 veterans to become commercial drone pilots in 40 states.