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STORY May 19, 2017 | 2:09 PM

Troy Carter

New Ottumwa Job Corps Center Boasts Green Building Design and New Jobs for Local Area

Published: November 22, 2010 | 10:43 AMJOB CORPS

The construction of the new Job Corps center in Ottumwa, Iowa, has had a tremendous economic impact on the local community. The $24 million project is creating jobs for residents in two capacities – through the 135 jobs for the construction of the facility, and the 130 permanent staff positions needed to operate the center when it opens next year. With the Ottumwa unemployment rate currently at eight percent, this project is vital to the growth of the city's economy.

“Because of the construction of the Ottumwa Job Corps Center, we've been able to keep people employed who otherwise would have been laid off,” said Grant Grooms of Grooms & Co. Construction. “We were even able to hire additional workers for the project.”

The impact of the new center on the local economy is substantial, but just as important are the green design elements of the building, which are expected to yield up to $250,000 in utility rebates. The LEED-based design has eight buildings, including student dormitories, academic buildings, administration buildings, a student recreation center/gymnasium, and much more.

Green aspects of the buildings include geothermal heating, energy-efficient lighting in all buildings, roof and wall insulation systems, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. In addition, construction staff are recycling materials on-site and using an online submittal exchange program, which tracks the progression of the project through a paperless system.

Once completed, the center will house approximately 300 students and offer career training in advanced manufacturing, information technology, heavy equipment operations, and health care. Students will study green practices and train on the latest green technology and equipment. Ottumwa students who meet certain criteria will also have the opportunity to participate in a partnership with nearby Indian Hills Community College to advance their education and training in certain areas.

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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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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 fieldworkers’ 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 farmworker 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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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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