Veteran Small Business Champion of 2017 is Charles Wilson, President of CW Consulting in Towson, nominated by Community Reinvestment Fund, USA.
You don’t have to be licensed as a Certified Nuclear Mechanical Operator to run your own business, but for Charles, it doesn’t hurt. He has drawn on his stellar career in the US Navy and from his own personal struggles to create a company designed for the greater good.
Born to a single mother in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, Charles grew up where the crime rate was high and the average income very low. The grim reality was that reaching the age of 17 was something to celebrate. For Charles, it meant celebrating the birth of his first child. That was the defining moment for him to take action, determining to break the cycle of poverty for his family. He joined the Navy and passed his entrance exam with flying colors. During his career, he rose through the ranks as a Nuclear Chemistry Technician and a Senior Reactor Operator.
After a successful military career and several years in the private sector, Charles opened his own firm offering Professional Staff Augmentation and Workforce Development. Specifically he pipelines diverse candidates including veterans, women and minorities. He offers specialized training ensuring that his candidates are the most prepared and engaged for careers within the commercial power plant, utility and manufacturing industries. Each is trained to industry level standards for safety, culture and work behaviors. Charles has secured contracts with Pike Electric and BG & E to place his job-ready candidates in critical vacancies and securing high paying jobs with upward mobility.
Charles is a gifted motivational speaker and has gained notoriety for his role advocating for minority visibility in STEM-related careers. He has testified before the US House of Representatives’ Energy & Power Subcommittee regarding the 21st Century Workforce bill and is the co-founder of the Legacy Nexus Foundation. Since 2009, the foundation has taught his Critical Thinking and Behavior Change curriculum to nearly 4,000 students in more than 40 schools across the nation.