CENTER NEWS
Events, Stories & Announcements
STORY May 19, 2017 | 2:11 PM

Monique Williams Jordan

Cleveland Open House Job Fair

Published: November 01, 2015 | 10:15 AM

On October 29, 2015, Cleveland Job Corps Center held its annual Open House/Job Fair. This Open House attracted over 50 employers and community resource providers. This meeting was an effort to connect the community and our potential graduates seeking full-time, part-time and internship positions in the Pharmacy Technician, Home Health Aids, STNA, Medical Assistant, Medical Office Support, Carpentry, Sign and Display, Bricklaying and Facilities Maintenance fields.

During this event, we open our doors to the community and welcomed them to tour our center, meet our instructors and to speak with our students about campus life at the Cleveland Job Corps Center. Over 300 of our student were able to participate and have a one-on-one opportunity to speak directly with employers about possible long term employment or apprenticeship programs within our industry trades.

The Cleveland Job Corps Center gained much exposure due to this event and received great reviews from employers about how they look forward to participating in our Spring Open House. They were very impressed with our students and the professionalism of our staff. Ms. Kimberly Minton from Front Steps Housing and Services stated “I am looking forward to having a table at your next job fair, and I have already posted literature from today’s event all over my building. I came for a job fair/open house and left with a wealth of knowledge, contacts, and hopefully a future partnership/collaboration with Job Corps”.

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Cleveland JCC Partners with Purple Heart Homes to Renovate Local Veteran's Home

Published: July 01, 2016 | 10:18 AM

Local veteran Corporal Leo Robinson, who was injured while serving in Iraq received renovation services to his home through Purple Heart Homes. Corporal Robinson lost partial vision and some of his mobility (he currently gets around with the help of a service dog). Purple Heart Homes acquired the help of the Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC) to renovate Corporal Robinson’s home through the Bricklayer’s Union. Purple Heart Homes helps to alleviate some of the costs of home ownership for injured vets in return for community service hours and public speaking from the injured recipient of the home. This is also made possible through the work of volunteers to fix up the house obtained from the land bank.

CJCC students Quatika McCane, Eric Green, Thomas Black, and Dwayne Pryor went with Bricklaying Instructor, John Butcher, to replace seven metal frame windows with glass block windows and repaired the front porch area of the home by laying several hundred bricks in the two days they were there. The students got a lot out of the work, learning to perform their skills on a real house outside of class. Mr. Robinson made a remarkable impression on the students as he spoke with them about his experiences and expressed his gratitude to the students for repairing his house.

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CJCC Honors Local Vets at Veterans Day Luncheon

Published: November 15, 2015 | 10:57 AM

On November 11, 2015, the Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC) celebrated Veterans currently employed at the center with a complimentary luncheon in their honor. The following Veterans are part of the CJCC family; U.S. Marine Corps: Darrell McClendon, Andre Townsend and Robert Miller; U.S. Army: Enisha Hawkins, Kenneth Hardy and Elliott Lilly; U.S. Navy: Kelvin Lopez, Anthony Taylor and Ronald Overby; Army Reserve: Sabrena Cottrell, Center Director William Houston, Deputy Center Director Jorge Pedroza, Social Development Director Woody Allen, Finance & Administration Director, and Business Community Liaison Harriet Hadley welcomed, thanked and served the Veterans a New York Strip steak, baked potato and salad. Everyone enjoyed the delicious meal that was prepared by Chef Marty Schemensky.

The CJCC family is honored to work alongside all of our Veteran’s and we thank them for making the stars in the American flag shine so bright. CJCC would like to THANK every Veteran and their Families for their service, dedication, commitment, and sacrifices.

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Apprenticeship Week Comes to the Cleveland JCC

Published: November 11, 2015 | 11:02 AM

From November 2nd to November 6th, the United States of America celebrated its first annual National Apprenticeship Week with Apprenticeship USA to acknowledge the contributions that apprenticeships provide to the national economy and workforce, and provide an opportunity for the Apprenticeship community to tell the story of apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are for those who aspire to be great, lead in innovation and creativity, strive to innovate in business and industry, and recognize the value of combining paid on-the-job learning with a substantial educational component. The city of Cleveland was even given the honor of a visit by the Secretary of Labor, Thomas Perez, who stated "When I talk to parents, and they say, 'Apprenticeship? That sounds like yesterday's concept.' What I tell them is that an apprenticeship is the other college except without the debt, the 'earn while you learn' model works." One of his prime goals as Secretary of Labor is to develop and foster an apprenticeship ‘ecosystem.’

Apprenticeships are an “earn and learn” training model that combines work-based learning with related classroom instruction using the highest industry standards. This carries on the same classroom instruction combined with work-based learning that students receive at Cleveland Job Corps. According to the Department of Labor, companies that offer Apprenticeship programs can diversify their workforce, improve productivity and profitability, standardize training, reduce turnover, receive tax credits and more.

While 75 years ago, the apprenticeship system began in construction and other skilled trades, today there are apprenticeships in more than 1,000 occupations, including careers in healthcare, IT, manufacturing, and more. The U.S. currently has approximately 375,000 apprentices working with more than 150,000 employers. Last year, President Obama established a goal of doubling the number of Apprenticeships within five years. The inaugural National Apprenticeship Week is one of the several initiatives helping achieve that goal.

Cleveland Job Corps places students into a variety of apprenticeships and internships in jobs related to career fields that the students are interested in and will provide them lifetime career opportunities. The Center also has four “pre-Apprenticeship” classes that are registered with; and recognized, by the Department of Labor: Building Construction Technology, Bricklaying, Sign and Display, and Carpentry.

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CJCC Students Join Project Love Kickoff for Kindness

Published: December 01, 2016 | 11:06 AM

Several students from the Cleveland Job Corps Centers (CJCC) traveled to the Wolstein Center at the Cleveland State University to be motivated to stand up for what they believe in and take action to make a positive change in their schools and communities. CJCC students attended the Project Love Kickoff for Kindness campaign "Building a Perfect Season of Kindness, Caring & Respect." The campaign is an interactive Kindness rally that brought thousands of students together from across Northeast Ohio. Students heard from several motivational speakers that inspire students to unite in demonstrating kindness, care and respect the number one priority in their lives, school, and community.

Throughout the event, students were encouraged to create the "rules of the game" for their schools and tweet them, as a way of integrating what they learned from each of the guest speakers. Students take the information they learn from the Project Love workshop and utilize them at their school. Likewise, they teach their peers how to have healthy relationships, become leaders and to stand up to bullies. In addition to creating their "rules of the game" for their schools, students are encouraged to define what they want their school to stand for.

Project Love programming empowers teens to take the lead in building a culture of kindness, caring and mutual respect in their schools. Project Love seminar programming focuses on interpersonal skills, visioning, team building, action planning, and strategies for carrying out kindness or service projects. Each day in the United States, over 160,000 students stay home from school due to fear of being teased, taunted or bullied. Project Love programming empowers students to examine their choices, and learn how their choices impact others. Unlike programs that tell students what they should do from an authoritative viewpoint, Project Love programs make students aware of the power they have to make a positive difference. Retrieved from http://www.projectlove.org/schools.php.

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Cleveland JCC Students Bring Excitement and Wonder to the HBCU College Fair

Published: December 01, 2015 | 11:24 AM

On Saturday, November 21, 2015, Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC) Leisure Time Learning Coordinator, Sabrina Streeter and Academic Instructor Wazirah Moore attended The Cleveland Council of Black Colleges Alumni Association 13th Annual Historically Black College & University (HBCU) College Fair with four CJCC students. Thousands of students, parents and school representatives filled Warrensville Heights High School who hosted the fair from 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM. The fair drew students from all across the state of Ohio.

The HBCU College Fair is a college recruitment and exposure event that features historically black colleges and universities, in addition to introducing prospective high school and community college transfer students to the many options available. The event serves as an avenue for students to obtain resources, opportunities, and to engage with more than 30 HBCUs, educational organizations, and vendors. “I think the most amazing feeling was seeing the students and their faces at the pep-rally”, expressed Moore. “They were beaming with such excitement and wonder.”

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21 CJCC Students Attend CSU's College Preview Day

Published: November 19, 2015 | 11:31 AM

On Saturday, November 7, 2015, a total of 21 students accompanied by Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC) Staff and Serrato Corporation Staff loaded a bus at 5:00 AM and headed out to attend Central State University’s (CSU) “College Preview Day.” Arriving safely to Wilberforce, OH, the day kicked off with students and staff being greeted at the door of the Beacom/Lewis Gymnasium by enthusiastic and cheerful CSU campus tour guides. CSU tour guides directed and assisted everyone to the registration and check-in area where students applied for CSU (application fee waived) and meet with admissions and financial aid representatives.

Next, hundreds of students, family members and school representatives from all over Ohio, Detroit and Chicago gathered in the Gymnasium to enjoy an amazing “Welcome” which included a Pep Rally, a dance contest where our very own Cheyanne Burton (Nurse Assistant, Advance Career Training-Tri-C), Kadjah Jackson (medical office support), and Dontez Hicks (Sign & Display) wowed the crowd with their dance moves. Accordingly, the College Dean and Student Union Director welcomed everyone to the school. Guests also enjoyed performances from CSU’s Grammy Award Nominated Choir, the Marching Marauder Band, the Black Diamond/Belles, and the Cheerleaders.

After that, students were separated into groups based on their preferred academic interest. Students met with the deans and professors from the Colleges of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, The College of Education, The College of Business, and the College of Science & Engineering. Each student attended mock classes in their prospective field of study and toured the campus.

The day concluded at the McPherson Stadium where students were provided free admission to the Central State Football game that included free lunch catered by Chick-fil-A, and an awesome performance from the Marauder Marching Band. Students had an opportunity to meet with current students, fraternities, and sororities. CJCC students and staff that attended CSU’s Preview Day agreed that the overall experience was memorable, exciting and educational.

“I loved how the MC at the Pep Rally defined their pride in being Marauders and I believe what he stated changed a lot of people’s perspectives and added value to the experience,” stated Camale Allen, CJCC Career Transition Readiness Specialist.

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Cleveland JCC Student Leaders Attend the SGA Leadership Conference in Virginia

Published: November 01, 2015 | 11:40 AM

The Social Development Director, Woody Allen, Leisure Time Learning Coordinator, Sabrina Streeter, and the Student Government Association (SGA) of the Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC) attended the SGA Leadership Conference at the Horizons Outdoor Learning Center in Shenandoah Valley, VA on October 26, 2015. The theme for the four-day conference was “Safety,” and the objectives included: ways to improve safety on our centers, enhancing student leadership skills, team building, and improving the quality of life on Job Corps campuses.

Job Corps students and advisors engaged in leadership, team building, and presentation workshops led by experienced speakers, Horizons Rope’s Course Challenge and other activities. The students were able to overcome challenges, learn patience and how to work together as a team. CJCC students not only set the bar high, but they successfully accomplished each task as a team with determination and confidence. The skit and final presentation they performed on “Safety” was phenomenal! By the end of the week, they were ready to get back to Cleveland to start making changes.

On the last night at Camp Horizons, everyone dressed in semi-formal attire and attended an enjoyable banquet. Students exchanged contact information with students from other Job Corps centers so that they could continue to network and assist each other with the progress of Job Corps centers.

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Spotlight on Construction: Famicos Garden

Published: September 19, 2015 | 12:28 PM

HBI Building Construction Technology Instructor, Robert Peck accompanied by five Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC) students, teamed up with Famicos Neighbor-hood Project Manager, Erica Robinson, and her staff to assist with harvesting and winterizing a garden on Lee Street. Students experienced several different aspects of gardening which included harvesting produce, winterization, learning about compost in addition how to sustain an organic garden. Students harvested approximately 4,000 tomatoes and 500 peppers; the produce will be donated to local market gardener, Gloria Jalil. Jalil is a resident who owns and operates Gloria’s Greens and supports herself solely on the sale of her produce.

As a spring project, Famico will be supplying building material for the CJCC Building Construction Technology students to build replacement raised planting beds for the Lee area garden.

Through harvesting and winterizing the garden, our students experienced a long lasting life skill that they may not have experienced otherwise without the partnership CJCC has with Famicos.

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Phylicia Rustin

Published: March 15, 2016 | 10:27 AM

Unemployed and down on her luck, Cleveland native, Phylicia Rustin knew it was time to make a change. Rustin recalls being up late one night in June, watching television and seeing a commercial advertising the Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC). The next morning determined to better herself she decided to call and find out more about the program. The following month on July 15, 2014, Rustin was given the opportunity to make a change in her life when she began training at CJCC.

With Rustin’s mother having a background in the healthcare field she decided to enroll in the nurse assistant trade. She worked diligently on her academics and attained her State Tested Nurse Aide (STNA) Licensure. Rustin’s hard work allowed her to obtain a diploma from Penn Foster and completed her 75 hours of clinical training. “Phylicia is definitely in her element and enjoying her days of providing hands on patient care,” said CJCC Nurse Aide Instructor, Jameka Bloom. After receiving her certification, Rustin immediately began working on the completion of her FASFA and enrolled at Cuyahoga Community College for the fall semester.

CJCC Career Technical Training Manager, Kylene Jennings came across a Nurse Aide position at Oghosa Home Care and encouraged by Bloom, to apply for the position. Rustin interviewed for the position on November 10, 2015, and was subsequently hired by Oghosa Home Care and started her new job on November 13, 2015. Rustin stated that she could not believe how quickly “real life” was happening for her.

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Patrick Shaw

Published: February 19, 2016 | 9:10 AM

Patrick Shaw came to the Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC) in June of 2014. He graduated from Jackson High School in 2013. After graduation, Shaw worked part-time at a pizza shop until he came to the realization that this would not provide him the career growth he was looking for. He wanted to be able to support himself in a career that would provide growth, and earn a wage that would provide him a comfortable lifestyle. One of Shaw’s goals is to one day own a home. With his mother working full time, Shaw wasn’t able to practice driving as much as he wanted and was unable to obtain his license. Shaw felt that he would need a driver’s license to secure a good job.

Shaw heard from a friend that Job Corps is a great place to acquire the things he was looking for. With a passion for building and engineering, Shaw knew instantly that the construction training program was the one for him. After exploring each of the construction trades, Shaw settled on the bricklaying class as he saw it as a form of “old art” and was interested in putting his creativity to work while gaining knowledge. While in training, Shaw really enjoyed the camaraderie of his fellow peers and instructor, “I came to see them as family” said Shaw.

After Shaw finished the bricklaying trade, he enrolled in Cuyahoga Community College's (Tri-C) Welding course through Job Corps. Patrick had some exposure to welding in high school and felt that a welding certification would increase his chances of obtaining gainful employment. Patrick is very proud of the numerous certifications he has earned on center, not to mention receiving his driver’s license. This busy and very driven young man, gained employment with Cleveland Marble on January 25, 2016 cutting brick pavers for a paver project in Cleveland’s Public Square. While working, Patrick plans to take night classes at Tri-C to obtain a welding certification. After Job Corps, Patrick plans to continue to work and pursue a business management degree, in the hopes of owning a company one day.

Patrick always lives by the adage that, “No matter how many times you fall down, as long as you pick yourself back up again, you will always end up a winner in the end.” He hopes that this message will help others attain the strength that he learned so that they can make their dreams come true as well. Patrick is in high demand with several employers reaching out to him.

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LeAndra Cruzado

Published: January 12, 2016 | 4:47 PM

LeAndra came to the CJCC on February 2, 2015 and chose Medical Office Support (MOS) as her trade where she quickly excelled. While still enrolled in MOS, LeAndra was employed on center through Worked Based Learning (WBL) as a secretary in the Maintenance Department. After completing MOS, LeAndra applied for CJCC’s Advanced Career Training (ACT) program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) and began college classes in the fall of 2015.

While attending Tri-C, LeAndra heard about the Advanced Training opportunities that Job Corps offered and began researching them. She found a program at the Gadsden Job Corps Center for Human Service Worker and applied. LeAndra was accepted to the Gadsden Advance Training program on January 19, 2016.

LeAndra will begin her new exciting field of training on January 29, 2016. “LeAndra has been a positive role model and great student during her time at CJCC. She has worked as my assistant for the past couple of months and she will be greatly missed. I wish her nothing but the best,” expressed CJCC Medical Office Instructor Charmayne R. Johnson, LPN.

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LeeEster Seals

Published: January 15, 2016 | 4:44 PM

Kalamazoo, Michigan native LeeEster Seals wasted no time obtaining her High School diploma and completing the Pharmacy Technician trade. Leaving her family of six, Seals arrived at the Cleveland Job Corps Center on June 21, 2015.

She is currently working at Walgreens as an intern to acquire her Work Based Learning (WBL) hours. Seals is scheduled to take the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) on February 5, 2016 to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT).

Seals will be arriving at the Atlanta Job Corps Center in February for the TCU/IAM Advanced Training Program to begin a new chapter in her life in the airline industry. “My advice to my fellow Job Corps peers is to stay focused and stay away from unconstructiveness,” voiced Seals.

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Virgil Whitmore

Published: February 15, 2016 | 4:37 PM

After graduating from Bedford High School in 2007, Virgil Whitmore worked a temporary position at Swagelok assembling valves. In 2008 under the advice of his mother who volunteered at the Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC), Whitmore joined in the Cleveland Job Corps.

As a child, he enjoyed disassembling and reassembling objects, as well as working with his hands, so Whitmore decided to enroll in the Carpentry trade as a non-residential student.

Whitmore remembers fondly being taught not only the basics of the trade but also, all the tricks of the trade that would take him to the next level by CJCC Carpentry Instructors, David Lummus and Al Schmitz. In addition, Whitmore appreciated how his instructors prepared him for the construction work site by teaching him work-place etiquette and how to deal with diversity. Each of the lessons Whitmore learned while at CJCC prepared him to be better equipped to navigate the construction work environment.

Whitmore still maintains established friendships with some of his former classmates from Job Corps. Whitmore began working for RL Hill Management after graduating from CJCC, where he was able to begin the Apprenticeship Program for the Indiana Kentucky Ohio Regional Carpenters Council (IKORCC) and became a member of Cleveland Local Carpenters 435.

He worked for several different companies during his apprenticeship in the union and graduated to Journeyman status in 2013. Currently, he is working for AKA Construction Management Team (The AKA Team) owned by Ariane Kirkpatrick. “Virgil joined our team over a year ago and his leadership skills were visible early on. He also has a passion for the work he performs. That combination was what made us decide to promote him to Superintendent,” said Kirkpatrick. Today, Whitmore is running a project and leading a team of eleven employees for a $70 million remodeling and expansion of the Thistledown Racino. Whitmore is responsible for ordering the materials, scheduling, and coordinating the work site as they remodel areas and add space for additional gaming, restaurants, and a parking garage.

Whitmore really values the opportunity that The AKA Team has provided him to enhance and grow his skills and leadership. “My experience has provided me the tools to progress not only in my trade skills but also in my leadership and organizational skills” expressed Whitmore. His next goal is to run an entire team or division for The AKA Team. “When our company was approached by the IKORCC to send an employee for Superintendent Training for an 18-month program in Las Vegas at the National Headquarters, we immediately knew that team member would be Virgil Whitmore. Investing in Virgil’s career path is invaluable in his and our growth,” said Kirkpatrick.

His former instructor thinks that he has the right qualities to achieve these goals, David Lummus, describes Virgil as having exceptional communication and visualization skills that allow him to thrive in his profession. He has the ability to envision things that others can not and is able to translate, communicate information, and knowledge in a way that everyone around him can understand in order to facilitate projects and bring teams in sync. His instructor has also observed the rapport he has been able to build with journeymen from all walks of life at the Carpenter’s Union Hall. Virgil’s advice to current students and aspiring carpenters is to “never give up, always keep the end goal in mind, and when things get tough just keep pushing.” Virgil wants to carve out a name for himself in the construction industry aside from the name that his family made famous on the east side for their amazing BBQ.

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Eric Grays

Published: April 15, 2016 | 4:29 PM

Eighteen-year-old, Eric Grays enrolled in Job Corps because he wanted to pursue a promising career that would help him provide for his three-month-old son. In November of 2012, the Cleveland native began a new chapter at the Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC).

Initially, Mr. Grays had an interest in the Facility Maintenance trade; however, the trade was full so he decided to enroll in Carpentry. With needs of providing for his son, Mr. Grays assumed he would be able to rapidly complete the program; however, he was mistaken. Although Mr. Grays really enjoyed Carpentry and was gaining a considerable amount of knowledge from his instructors, he began to get apprehensive. His instructors were instrumental in mentoring and motivating him to consider how completing the training would assist him in providing for his child’s future. He stayed the course!

When he graduated from CJCC in September of 2013, Mr. Grays gained employment with 3D Real Estate at their Shaker Hall Apartment building location doing general apartment maintenance for two years. Currently, Mr. Grays is working for Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) that provides housing for 55,000 low-income residents. Mr. Grays is working full time as a Service Person IV and will be promoted to Service Person V later this year.

A typical day of work for Mr. Grays may include handling emergency work orders such as changing pipes, snaking plumbing, changing insulation in attics, retiling floors, building decks, and more. He enjoys working for CMHA as part of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the benefits that they provide for him and his family.

Mr. Grays stated that this is his ideal job and he plans to continue working at CMHA until he retires. Mr. Grays advice to CJCC students is to just stick with it and stay motivated. He also went on to say that attending Job Corps was one of the best decisions he made.

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Jamia Woods

Published: April 15, 2016 | 4:06 PM

Job Corps and McNeely Pigott & Fox are recognizing female Job Corps students across the country who have accepted the Job Corps challenge during National Women’s History Month. The social media campaign titled, “Challenge Accepted” will feature one woman from each region to be featured on the Job Corps Facebook page and receive a certificate of recognition to include their resume and portfolio.

Jamia Woods completed the Cleveland Job Corps Center’s (CJCC) Building Construction Technology (BCT) trade with excellent attendance. Jamia often encouraged female students to consider careers in construction & maintenance.

While enrolled in BCT, Ms. Woods demonstrated leadership qualities during a community service project repainting 12,000 square feet at a Hispanic community center. While on her Career Technical Skills Training (CTST) project, she built an outdoor sand volleyball court and in the classroom Ms. Woods assisted her instructor by motivating her fellow classmates. She also raised the bar in her classroom by securing evening WBL employment with the center maintenance crew performing custodial work on Center.

After completing the BCT trade, Ms. Woods enrolled in an off-center Machining program offered by Cuyahoga Community College’s (TRI-C) Advanced Technology Academy (ATA). Ms. Woods was faced with some personal adversities while attending the ATA Machining program, but she did not allow that to deter her. Due to her resolve, Ms. Woods was presented the “Perseverance Award” by the Advanced Technology Academy during her graduation ceremony.

Although there have been obstacles, Ms. Woods continues to travel the road to success and remains persistent in attaining her desired goals. She is currently working on obtaining her Associate of Applied Science degree in the Industrial Building Maintenance field through the CJCC Advance Career Training (ACT) program at TRI-C.

Jamia Woods was nominated as the CJCC “Challenge Accepted” campaign because she exemplifies our Core Values: Commitment, Courage, and Honor. Ms. Woods is a resilient young woman who strives to improve herself personally and professionally by utilizing the full spectrum of resources and services available to her through the Job Corps program. Throughout her enrollment at CJCC and in TRI -C, Ms. Woods has proven that she is willing to go the extra mile with her unselfish contributions, perfect attendance, and perseverance!

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Judge Sergio A. Gutierrez

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:12 PMSTORIES

Job Corps' motto is "Success Lasts a Lifetime" and nowhere is this more evident than in the story of Idaho Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sergio Gutierrez, who received his GED and studied carpentry at the Wolf Creek Job Corps Center in the early 1970s.

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Sergio crossed the border with his family and settled in Stockton, California. His father struggled to make ends meet for his six children on field workers’ wages and his mother suffered from crippling mental illness. To ease their burden, Sergio, then four years old, and one of his sisters moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico, to live with their loving grandmother in a leaky, hole-covered house that he remembers as barely habitable. Despite this poverty and hardship, Sergio was inspired by his grandmother’s wisdom and promised her that he would make something of himself.

When Gutierrez was 12, his beloved grandmother died, and he moved back to Stockton with his mother, his farm worker stepfather, and 12 other siblings. Scraping by in these conditions proved to be too much for the young man. He dropped out of high school after finishing 9th grade and fell in with a crowd of older boys that he admits were hoodlums.

Often homeless and frustrated with barely getting by on menial jobs, Sergio went to an employment office where he met a woman who recommended the Job Corps program to him. Resolving to fulfill his promise to his grandmother, he enrolled that day. This was when his new life began.

At 16, Sergio began attending the Wolf Creek Job Corps Center in Oregon. The structure, support, and serenity of the center "gave me an affirmation that I could do something with my life." Sergio quickly became a leader among the students and graduated with carpentry skills and a GED.

Transformed by his experiences at Wolf Creek, Sergio went on to earn both an undergraduate and a law degree, practiced law, and was appointed to the Idaho Court of Appeals in 2002.

Judge Gutierrez attributes his success to the Job Corps program. "I was not going down the right path, and the program literally saved my life," he said. “My life turned around when I enrolled in the Wolf Creek Job Corp Center in Glide, Oregon. Job Corps saved my life. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boise State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings Law School. But I am most proud of the GED that I attained at Wolf Creek because it represented a new start in my life.”

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Pierre Kinloch

Published: December 15, 2015 | 4:53 PM

When students are told that they will be enrolled in the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) classes, they may feel a bit uneasy; this is particularly true for the Math TABE class. The Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) is a diagnostic test used to effectively assess the skill levels, aptitude, and knowledge of adult learners. The test is comprised of basics of reading, English, and math.

Pierre Kinloch wasted no time expressing his discontent. He frequently displayed and expressed that he didn’t want anything to do with Math. However, Pierre began noticing that several of his friends were TABE-ing out of math, this epiphany caused Pierre to make it his mission to TABE out of math too.

Pierre began putting forth the effort in the classroom, in addition to staying after school for tutoring. After a few months of studying, applying himself and testing a few more times, Pierre came back from Thanksgiving break and said “I’m getting out of your class, today” to CJCC Math Instructor, Wazirah Moore. She replied, “I hope so.” Then she filled out the necessary paper work, gave him a hug and said “I love you” and sent him to the testing room.

Anxiously, Moore began stalking the computer after an hour and 15 minutes had passed. There it was, the moment they had been waiting for… Pierre had TABE-ed out. Pierre returned to Moore’s room and before he could say anything Moore quickly hugged him and acknowledged, “Congrats, I already know.” Pierre smiled and replied, “Thank you”.

Pierre was enrolled in math TABE classes for approximately three months. On December 1, 2015, he achieved the highest grade level of 12.9 and had an overall TABE gain of 5.8. Now, Pierre can be seen walking around campus smiling and telling his friends when asked, “Yeah, I TABE-ed out of math and you can too!”

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Jaccarri Webb

Published: February 15, 2016 | 4:35 PM

Jaccarri Webb joined the Facility Maintenance trade in June of 2015. While in the trade Webb exemplified the Career Success Standards and earned numerous positive commendations from staff. Webb has given shop tours and explained the Facilities Maintenance trade to various community guests and potential Job Corps applicants. Furthermore, he started as a dorm leader then became the Sargent at Arms for the Student Government Association (SGA) and the president of his dorm.

Additionally, Webb earned Career Technical Training Student of the Month and Most Improved Construction student of 2015. Webb helped to install plumbing work for an outdoor water fountain, helped dig and install drain pipe to provide irrigation and water drainage for an outdoor sand volleyball court, and showed great leadership as the project foreman in converting a dorm room suite into a beauty salon.

Intrigued with the various plumbing tasks and projects that he was assigned to and involved in, Webb soon discovered that his ultimate career interest was plumbing. During a recent visit to the center, his former high school principal was amazed to see how far Webb had developed since leaving her school and was very impressed at his personal progress.

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Lexus Frazier

Published: April 21, 2016 | 4:02 PM

Lexus Frazier arrived at the Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC) on January 15, 2013 to enroll in the construction trade. Her biggest hurdle was acquiring the patience to complete her high school diploma.

Ms. Frazier is very energetic, works at a fast pace and has a great desire to work; so the Carpentry trade suited her well. Obtaining both her High School diploma and Carpentry certification on April 21, 2014 was quite an accomplishment for Ms. Frazier. She is a natural leader and was able to expound on those skills while enrolled in CJCC. She was shop foreman in her trade, took on a dorm leader role, and voluntarily taught students boxing maneuvers after class in the recreation facility.

Ms. Frazier was recently nominated by the CJCC for a National Department of Labor Award, titled the “BOOT Award.” This award stands for Better Occupational Opportunities for Tradeswomen and is an award for females in “non-traditional” career fields, such as construction and manufacturing. Each Job Corps Center has the privilege of nominating one deserving young woman every year. CJCC Construction Cluster Training Manager, Adam Bohn visited Donley’s Construction work site to interview Ms. Frazier and found her doing concrete formwork and building a parking garage in the heart of Cleveland.

In addition to the work Ms. Frazier is currently doing at the parking garage, she also aided in the building of the downtown Hilton Hotel. Ms. Frazier is in her second year as an apprentice and she is already leading crews of other apprentices for her company! Be sure to check out Lexus Frazier’s video.

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Jameka Bloom

Published: February 15, 2013 | 4:50 PM

Nursing Assistant Instructor, Jameka Bloom joined the Cleveland Job Corps Center family in December 2012. The native Ohioan grew up in Euclid and is the youngest of her parent’s seven children (all girls). Bloom knew early on that she either wanted to be a nurse or work in the fashion industry. So after graduating from Euclid High School, Bloom attended Bauder Fashion College in Atlanta, Georgia where she majored in Fashion Design. Although she enjoyed fashion, the business was difficult to break into and she kept feeling that she needed more and that something was missing.

Looking to medicine, Bloom became a State Tested Nurse Assistant (STNA). Bloom worked at Richmond Heights Hospital in the Cardiac Step Down Unit for 3 years, and also at Lake West Hospital in the Oncology floor caring for patients diagnosed with cancer.

After years of being strongly encouraged by nurses, patients, and physicians to pursue a nursing degree, Bloom enrolled in Ambition to Succeed Technologies in 2010. “There were moments in my life when I entertained the thought of becoming a teacher, so in the winter of 2012, when I learned of the STNA Instructing position at CJCC, I immediately felt as if I was being granted the best of both worlds,” exclaimed Bloom.

Described by many as having a bubbly personality, Bloom has no problem getting students acclimated to her classroom schedule and expectations. Bloom makes it her business to ensure that her students leave with adequate training as well as always a way to keep in contact with her. She has created a classroom Facebook page with all her students, to promote job opportunities, to be a listening ear, or if they are in need of assistance.

Ms. Bloom has been a great asset to the Health trade and her passion for nursing is something that she tries to instill in every student that comes into her trade. “Bloom takes pride in ensuring the students that come into the CNA class have a passion for working with people,” complimented Health Cluster Manager Kylene Jennings. Italian is her favorite cuisine and she considers herself to be a pretty good cook. She still dabbles in fashion, mainly in regards to interior decorating, but also as a stylist and is the mother of a gorgeous thirteen-year-old son. This former Euclid High School drill team captain and Flag Corps member has accomplished all of her childhood dreams. Her latest ambition is to someday own and operate a group home for Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MRDD) residents.

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Alexis Beard

Published: February 15, 2016 | 4:31 PM

Alexis Beard came to the Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC) with the drive and intellect that is needed to complete a trade. Beard came to class every day ready to work and she always put her best foot forward. She was a class leader; Beard would help students with their work and run errands for her instructor. “Alexis has shown time and time again how honest, trustworthy and honorable she is,” complemented CJCC Pharmacy Technician Instructor, Jessica M. Welch. Beard is a very hard worker and has proven to many of the staff on center that she has the ability to succeed; she sets goals for herself and achieves them.

Beard still keeps in touch with her instructor and her Pharmacy Technician classmates, who were very happy to learn that Beard was accepted and is now an AmeriCorps Team Member.

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Daniel Castellon-Pineda

Published: April 18, 2016 | 3:56 PM

Daniel Castellon-Pineda came to the Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC) on January 5, 2015, and recently completed the program on April 22, 2016. He is currently employed with Castellon’s Painting, LLC., his family-owned painting company located in Lakewood, OH.

As a teenager, Mr. Castellon-Pineda came to the United States from El Salvador to escape gang violence and to work in the family’s business. Although Mr. Castellon-Pineda was an accomplished interior and exterior painter before he enrolled in the Job Corps program, he wanted to obtain his High School diploma and add Carpentry to his list of talents.

Mr. Castellon-Pineda received his High School diploma on May 7, 2015, and his Carpentry certification on April 12, 2016. With a Carpentry certification, Mr. Castellon-Pineda could help the family business obtain a broader range of contract work. Mr. Castellon-Pineda was a model student and had a positive influence on his peers while enrolled at CJCC. Mr. Castellon-Pineda is progressing nicely in further developing the English language, as well as, in the Carpentry trade. Mr. Castellon-Pineda aided in constructing the CJCC courtyard pergola. These are just a couple of the projects that he worked on at the United Brotherhood of Carpenter’s annual apprenticeship competition event, at the local apprenticeship training center.

In addition to bringing his superior painting skills to the table, he hopes to use the carpentry skills that he learned to help Castellon Painting, LLC., secure expanded contracts. Some of Mr. Castellon-Pineda duties will be to train new employees with painting skills and travel to worksites to do contract estimates for work. He is very thankful to his instructors for teaching him how to calculate materials and labor, in order to make estimates for customers. He visits his instructors frequently and plans to keep in touch with them in order to refine and expand upon these skills.

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Troy Carter

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:09 PMSTORIES

Like many Job Corps graduates, Troy Carter began his life in a low-income neighborhood with nothing but a dream of music industry success and a drive to make it happen. After struggling to balance his education with a budding music career, Carter enrolled in the former Chesapeake Job Corps Center in Port Deposit, Maryland in 1990.

Carter quickly graduated from Job Corps with a GED. Saying the program "helped me experience independence for the first time,” Carter applied his new skills and perspective with renewed focus to his music industry ambitions.

Today he is the CEO of Coalition Media Group, a successful Beverly Hills, California, artist management and digital marketing company. He has worked closely with superstars like Sean "Diddy" Combs, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Will Smith, Eve, Nelly, and Lady Gaga.

Carter says America needs institutions like Job Corps because building leaders "starts in school" with students who "don’t stop dreaming and work hard.” He is living proof that, if just given the opportunity, tomorrow’s leader could be anyone, even an ambitious young dreamer from West Philadelphia.

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Monique Williams Jordan

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:11 PMSTORIES

With a pinch of passion, a sprinkle of creativity and a generous amount of determination, "Chef Moe," Monique Williams, has turned her culinary aspirations into a recipe for success.

Her journey began as a culinary arts student at Woodstock Job Corps Center in Maryland - the same school where she landed her first job. After several years of teaching and inspiring other young chefs, Williams became the first former Job Corps student to become an advanced instructor at Anne Arundel Community College’s hands-on culinary program.

Chef Moe was recognized during the 45th Anniversary of Job Corps celebration and later joined her Woodland Job Corps Center culinary students to cook with Chef Robert Irvine from the Food Network show Dinner: Impossible. "The opportunity to make a life-changing difference in the lives of other young people is very special to me, and I will forever be grateful to Job Corps for giving me that," said Williams.

Chef Moe’s work in the kitchen is truly inspired, but it’s her gift for inspiring others to achieve independence and success, no matter where they come from, that has the power to change the world. We can’t wait to see what she cooks up next.

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Andrianna Parish

Published: March 15, 2016 | 10:40 AM

Getting students excited about academic classes such as TABE Reading and TABE Math can be a challenge when students arrive at the Cleveland Job Corps Center (CJCC). Students are eager to enter their trade, earn their high school diploma, earn their driver’s license, but slow to accept the opportunity to improve their math and reading skills.

Andrianna Parish is a student who when she first arrived at CJCC could not wait to leave. She was ready to walk away from the opportunities Job Corps was offering. Andrianna walked through the halls with a scowl on her face and wouldn’t hesitate to tell you what she thought about Job Corps and math and reading classes. However, in the few months Parish has been at CJCC, she has made a tremendous turnaround. She is now a young lady excited to TABE test; always expecting the most from herself. She is disappointed with a little gain because she believes she could achieve higher. “I realized it is my life and nobody else can do it for me, I have to want it and do it myself,” said Parish.

As Parish’s attitude toward Job Corps changed, her attitude and outlook on life changed as well. She eagerly comes into class and is ready to accept any challenge thrown her way. “I am simply trying to understand more and take my time with academics,” said Parish. “My goal is to TABE up to fully understand math.” Through her positive attitude and engagement in learning activities, she has earned a 4.9-grade level gain in Reading and 1.1-grade level gain in math. She has even become a champion of the Job Corps program and mentors new students about staying in the program and giving CJCC the opportunity to change their life.

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Monique Williams Jordan

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:11 PMSTORIES

With a pinch of passion, a sprinkle of creativity and a generous amount of determination, "Chef Moe," Monique Williams, has turned her culinary aspirations into a recipe for success.

Her journey began as a culinary arts student at Woodstock Job Corps Center in Maryland - the same school where she landed her first job. After several years of teaching and inspiring other young chefs, Williams became the first former Job Corps student to become an advanced instructor at Anne Arundel Community College’s hands-on culinary program.

Chef Moe was recognized during the 45th Anniversary of Job Corps celebration and later joined her Woodland Job Corps Center culinary students to cook with Chef Robert Irvine from the Food Network show Dinner: Impossible. "The opportunity to make a life-changing difference in the lives of other young people is very special to me, and I will forever be grateful to Job Corps for giving me that," said Williams.

Chef Moe’s work in the kitchen is truly inspired, but it’s her gift for inspiring others to achieve independence and success, no matter where they come from, that has the power to change the world. We can’t wait to see what she cooks up next.

Read More

Troy Carter

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:09 PMSTORIES

Like many Job Corps graduates, Troy Carter began his life in a low-income neighborhood with nothing but a dream of music industry success and a drive to make it happen. After struggling to balance his education with a budding music career, Carter enrolled in the former Chesapeake Job Corps Center in Port Deposit, Maryland in 1990.

Carter quickly graduated from Job Corps with a GED. Saying the program "helped me experience independence for the first time,” Carter applied his new skills and perspective with renewed focus to his music industry ambitions.

Today he is the CEO of Coalition Media Group, a successful Beverly Hills, California, artist management and digital marketing company. He has worked closely with superstars like Sean "Diddy" Combs, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Will Smith, Eve, Nelly, and Lady Gaga.

Carter says America needs institutions like Job Corps because building leaders "starts in school" with students who "don’t stop dreaming and work hard.” He is living proof that, if just given the opportunity, tomorrow’s leader could be anyone, even an ambitious young dreamer from West Philadelphia.

Read More

Judge Sergio A. Gutierrez

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:12 PMSTORIES

Job Corps' motto is "Success Lasts a Lifetime" and nowhere is this more evident than in the story of Idaho Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sergio Gutierrez, who received his GED and studied carpentry at the Wolf Creek Job Corps Center in the early 1970s.

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Sergio crossed the border with his family and settled in Stockton, California. His father struggled to make ends meet for his six children on field workers’ wages and his mother suffered from crippling mental illness. To ease their burden, Sergio, then four years old, and one of his sisters moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico, to live with their loving grandmother in a leaky, hole-covered house that he remembers as barely habitable. Despite this poverty and hardship, Sergio was inspired by his grandmother’s wisdom and promised her that he would make something of himself.

When Gutierrez was 12, his beloved grandmother died, and he moved back to Stockton with his mother, his farm worker stepfather, and 12 other siblings. Scraping by in these conditions proved to be too much for the young man. He dropped out of high school after finishing 9th grade and fell in with a crowd of older boys that he admits were hoodlums.

Often homeless and frustrated with barely getting by on menial jobs, Sergio went to an employment office where he met a woman who recommended the Job Corps program to him. Resolving to fulfill his promise to his grandmother, he enrolled that day. This was when his new life began.

At 16, Sergio began attending the Wolf Creek Job Corps Center in Oregon. The structure, support, and serenity of the center "gave me an affirmation that I could do something with my life." Sergio quickly became a leader among the students and graduated with carpentry skills and a GED.

Transformed by his experiences at Wolf Creek, Sergio went on to earn both an undergraduate and a law degree, practiced law, and was appointed to the Idaho Court of Appeals in 2002.

Judge Gutierrez attributes his success to the Job Corps program. "I was not going down the right path, and the program literally saved my life," he said. “My life turned around when I enrolled in the Wolf Creek Job Corp Center in Glide, Oregon. Job Corps saved my life. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boise State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings Law School. But I am most proud of the GED that I attained at Wolf Creek because it represented a new start in my life.”

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