WEST JEFFERSON—A new national corporation based in West Jefferson plans to hire nearly 30,000 veterans over the next two years by manufacturing and selling bottled water.
U.S. Water Warriors, Inc. recently established its national headquarters in downtown West Jefferson on Tuesday, Sept. 1 after receiving it’s first shipment of machine labeled bottled water with the help of American Emergency Vehicles (AEV).
The 150-square-foot location, which is still currently under renovation, will soon operate as a showroom and storage space for their bottled water product, “Wholy Water.”
Water Warriors offers a unique opportunity for veterans across the country to work in sales, marketing, warehousing, office management, transportation and distribution positions to learn skills and earn money. The Corporation currently employees three local veterans in West Jefferson, a number Water Warrior volunteer Bari Benson hopes will increase as they become more established.
Benson said approximately 900,000 veterans are currently unemployed in the United States but Water Warriors is attempting to conquer that number with their plan to employ 30,000 veterans in the next two years.
“The only way we can do that is if people know what we are doing,” Benson said. “It’s instrumental that the public know what’s going on. If everybody in this county bought one bottle of water a week, we could employ four veterans right here.”
According to Benson, the product is also sold in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, California, Michigan and Massachusetts.
The corporation originated with two veterans, Water Warriors president Eric Pcoffman and vice president Andrew Myers. Benson said both Pcoffman and Myers personally knew of veterans who were struggling because of unemployment and decided to take action.
According to Benson, Water Warriors is also planning to build a national warehouse for distribution in West Jefferson. Benson said that by creating warehouses throughout the nation, there will be more opportunities available for veterans.
“That’s what we are trying to do, build up enough momentum to get a warehouse in every single state because everybody drinks water,” Benson said.
According to Benson, Water Warriors is run primarily by veterans.
“There’s nobody important, famous, or rich on our board,” Benson said. “Just veterans.”
Benson said the label for the bottled water was even designed by a veteran.
Water Warriors is working across the nation to form partnerships with businesses who will sell Wholy Water.
“Not only are we planning on hiring and retaining veterans, but all of the people we partner with have to promise us they will too,” Benson said. “That’s what we are looking forward to doing, is having veterans going out into the United States in all different locations to work.”
Wholy Water is currently being sold locally at 163 Service and Grocery in West Jefferson and Primos Pizza in Boone. Other supporters of Water Warriors include AEV, Hale Tire, Go Postal and Staples.
Water Warriors plan to host a “Come Drink” grand opening event in early October.
“We want veterans to know in this county that they can come down here and ask for a job,” Benson said. “I want this county to be successful with veterans.”
For more information about U.S. Water Warriors, Inc., visit www.uswaterwarriors.org or call 240-529-7942.
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.