Earlier this year, United States Senator Charles Schumer announced a $23 million contract award from Veterans Affairs to Global Urban Enterprise to begin construction of a veteran cemetery in Pembroke, N.Y. With the closest existing veterans cemetery 100 miles outside Buffalo, the new facility will provide a final resting place closer to home for veterans in the Buffalo and Rochester areas.
Founded in 2013 by Al Urban, a United States Army veteran and graduate of Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) program, Global Urban Enterprises Inc. provides general construction services to the federal government and various state agencies throughout Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania.
“This contract and the cemetery’s construction guarantee Western New York’s military veterans will have a proper burial, at a site close to the homes, families, and the very communities they dedicated their lives to defend and serve,” Schumer said.
Working on the project with Urban is Chris Dambach. The pair met through Syracuse University’s IVMF EBV program. Dambach, a Marine Corps veteran, is the owner of Industry Standard USA LLC, a grounds maintenance, facility maintenance, and general construction company.
Together, Global Urban Enterprises and Industry Standard USA will construct 4,000 gravesites, including 2,500 gravesites for casket interments, and 1,500 in-ground sites for cremated remains.
“Chris and I are excited to work together on a project we both value,” said Urban. “EBV and Syracuse University brought us together, helped further our businesses and now we are able to make a large-scale impact for our fellow veterans.”
“I am so humbled and honored to be a part of this legacy project with my great friend Al Urban! It’s sometimes hard to believe that prior to EBV I was string trimming National Cemeteries. Now we are helping build them!” said Chris Dambach.
Senator Schumer worked with Western New York veteran leaders for 10 years to bring the cemetery project to fruition. The first burials at the facility are set to begin in November or December of 2020.
EBV is the flagship program of the IVMF’s ARSENAL of entrepreneurship programs. EBV is designed to prepare and empower veterans and their families for success in business ownership. Since its inception, the program has expanded to a consortium of nine schools across the country and graduated nearly 2,000 aspiring entrepreneurs. Of those 79% have gone on to start their own business and 92% of those are still in business.