9 Student Success Stories from the Pittsburgh Job Corps
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9 Student Success Stories from the Pittsburgh Job Corps

It is always a joy to tell success stories about our students.  Here are nine.

Martin B. graduated from the off-center training program at the Community College of Allegheny County with an Associates degree and went on to California State University in California, PA.  He earned a BS degree in Industrial Technology.  Presently he is the construction foreman for Energy Independent Solutions.  In February he returned to PJCC to speak to students  about solar power and solar installation.    With his assistance the Electrician Helper students  completed the solar panel installation on the roof of building 3.  Martin will be working with PJCC students when they intern with Energy Independent Solutions in March and April.  Their project will be installing the solar array in te new Phipps Conservancy addition in Oakland.

Courtney  T. first attended the Earle C. Clemens Job Corps Center in Kentucky. He earned his A+ Computer repair certification.  Courtney then transferred to the Pittsburgh Job Corps Center where he completed two semesters of Cisco Computer Networking.  Upon completion of the Cisco program, Courtney transferred to the Shriver Job Corps Center in Massachusetts for advanced training.  There he earned his Microsoft Systems certificates.  On Monday, March 11, 2011, Courtney started a new career with Horizon in Manhattan, NYC.  He is a computer systems instructor earning over $20/hr.  He has an apartment and is busy getting settled in his new life.

Sarah R. has found a way to make a good living although it has not been an easy road for her. She quit going to high school in 10th grade but actually dropped out in her senior year because as she said “school was just not for her”.  She did finish her GED at CCAC in January 2006. Sarah was working for her family’s bricklaying business when she heard about the Job Corps program through a friend of her mother’s.  She started at the Pittsburgh Job Corps in the Warehousing program in November 2009. When she learned more about the Heavy Equipment Shop, she knew that was for her.  In January of 2010, she transferred to the Heavy Equipment Mechanic program.  The last month she was in the program she got seat time with all the equipment such as the backhoe, skid steer, forklift, wheel loader, dump truck and roller.  She also got her permit for her CDL while still at Job Corps.  Sarah separated in May 2010 and was accepted into the Union Apprenticeship program.  Sarah had obstacles. Sarah accomplished her training and also took care of her 2 year old son. She was the only female in her shop.  Then when she started working, she would work anywhere from 40 – 60 hours a week, working up to 1 ½ hour drive away from home.  This presented some other hurdles for her since most daycare centers do not open early enough for her needs.   Yes, Sarah, has had to face obstacles and learned how to knock them all out of her way.  She has worked steadily with Lindy Paving Company and with her earnings she just purchased a 2005 black Nissan Frontier off road version with tinted windows.  Way to go, Sarah!

Tinika M. was a CNA student who completed the program on 9/28/10.   By the time the October graduation ceremony rolled around Tinika was a full-time employee.  Nurse Staffing placed Tinika at The Children’s Institute as a CNA making good money.   Recently, The Children’s Institute wanted to hire her permanently.  A month after beginning work, Tinika moved into her first apartment.  She desires to go to CCAC in August to begin the nursing program.   She  is very sweet, kind, and most importantly, patient.   She just loves the work she is doing.   Tinika came to Job Corp to learn and now she is reaping the benefits of all she has learned.

Jasmine D. enrolled in the Job Corps’ CCAC program just 3 months after graduating high school.  She has been very focused on her long- term goal of earning  a degree in education.  Jasmine completed the CCAC Job Corps Sponsorship in May 2010 with a Child Care Diploma.   Jasmine began working part time for a local charter school as Child Care worker in May 2010.   She now works full time as a teacher’s aide.  She plans to continue with school to earn her bachelor’s degree.

Candis D. completed the Office Administration program at PJCC in June 2010 with a goal of getting a steady job as an office admin within the city.  After interviewing with staffing agencies around the city, she got an interview for a private eye care practice at UPMC Shadyside.  She was called back a week later for her 2nd interview, and left feeling very confident in herself.  That following Monday she received a call and was offered the position working full time hours Monday – Friday.  Three months later Candis had a $.50 per hour raise.   She received  glowing reviews from the practice staff on her quick pace to learning the office procedures and adapting to the new environment.  They offered her an opportunity to advance her education and a chance to become a technician to assist the doctors.  She is extremely grateful for the education she received from PJCC and feels she has gotten herself on track in life.

Victoria S. entered PJCC July 17, 2007 as an OCT (Off Center Training) student.  Victoria chose the field of Para Legal studies and completed in May 2010 with an Associates Degree.  What stands out the most is Victoria was on the Dean’s List every semester and graduated with highest honors. During her studies Victoria had a 40 hr. a week job, her own apartment and car.  Victoria worked as an Office Manager in a Real Estate Company.  Within a year Victoria was accompanying lawyers to court and was a vital part of the litigation team.  Today, Victoria works in a Real Estate firm as a first year Para Legal.  She is quickly learning her position and role in the firm.  Victoria is now looking for a part-time job to supplement her income so she can move into a bigger apartment.  Victoria feels that she can progress and move forward with her career.  Her education is paid for and now she is saving for her future.

     John J.  completed and graduated from the Pittsburgh Job Corps Center, second HOCC (Health Occupations) cohort in October, 2009.  Being enrolled in the HOCC cohort requires diligence, dedication to your studies and the ability to keep up with all the requirements this vocation requires to graduate.  These students can obtain their C.N.A. license which is an important tool towards gaining independence and retaining it.  Being a young father, John had conveyed to me the importance of obtaining a job so he could become independent and provide additional support for his daughter. He obtained a position at “Caring Heights Community Care and Rehabilitation Center” in Coraopolis, PA shortly after graduation in 2009.   He is still employed at his C.N.A. position.  The administrator and several of his co-workers are very happy with his work ethics and the passion that he has for his patients and work.  John said, “Being a C.N.A. at this work site is more like working with family.  He treats his patients the way he would want to be treated if he were a patient”.  John is a great ambassador for the graduates of PJCC HOCC program.  The administrator at this company would like to hire more students like John because of his pride and confidence in the work he is doing.    John hopes to further his education in the medical field.  He would like to strive to become an RN and said this would not have been a reality without the training he received at PJCC.

Rich H. is a graduate of the culinary arts cohort June 2010.  Rich began working at the River’s Casino in downtown Pittsburgh shortly after graduation from Job Corps, cooking for the buffet events.  After a few months there, he was asked to join the staff at Sodexo, raising his wage by almost $2.00/hour. He took the job with them and because of his hard work, he is now talking to Sodexo about a promotion to Sous Chef. Rich is always looking for the next opportunity while trying to be responsible.  Soon he hopes to save enough money to get his own vehicle.

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