Cleveland Job Corps Center

Cleveland Job Corps Student Thanks Job Corps For Giving Me The Determination To Be Successful In Life

August 7th, 2017

Student: Gary Blanchard
Age: 22
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Center: Cleveland
Region: Chicago
Career Area: Bricklaying
JC Date: 6/20/16 – 7/31/17
Employer: Valentine Contracting
Position: Union Bricklayer

With just one year to go, Gary Blanchard felt as though he had enough and left High School. He found himself working various odd jobs just to make a living. In 2015, Gary began working with his cousins who exposed Gary to bricklaying. As luck would have it, Gary received a Job Corps letter in the mail about opportunities that could help him start a career and gain free skills in bricklaying. After discussing the Job Corps program with his family, he decided to enroll.

While enrolled at Cleveland Job Corps, Gary has earned his High School Diploma from Penn Foster, NCCER Core Curriculum, Green Building Awareness, Scaffold Safety, IMI Masonry Power Tool User, OSHA 10, HILTI Powder Actuated Tools, Gastite Installer, and the IMI Pre-Apprentice Certifications. He was also recognized as a Construction Trade student of the month. In the evenings, Gary worked in the Recreation center on campus performing various janitorial duties.

Gary struggled with math in the beginning and at times would get so frustrated that he thought about quitting. But the Job Corps staff worked with him to overcome his barriers allowing him to become one of the top students in his trade. “I really appreciate the motivation that Construction Foundations Instructor, Thomas Wallace, provided me as he kept me focused on my math skills even when I didn’t want to do it,” explained Gary. He realized that his biggest challenges at Job Corps was learning to embrace his fears and not looking back.

Employed with Valentine Contracting as a Union Bricklayer, Gary is making $17.27 an hour including benefits. The self-made entrepreneur earns extra cash through his bricklaying business “Gee’s Brick Repair & More.” Gary plans is to complete his apprenticeship training in the Bricklayer’s Union and eventually become a signatory contractor. “Thanks Job Corps for giving me the determination to be successful in life, through my passion for bricklaying so that I will never have to struggle again. ~ Gary Blanchard”