Muhlenberg Job Corps Center

Changing of the Guard at Muhlenberg Job Corps

February 4th, 2020

Gavin Gorham, left, congratulates Peter LaFleur on 40 years of Job Corps service

Center Director Peter LaFleur Retires, Gavin Gorham named new CD

There was a changing of the guard Jan. 29 as Center Director Peter LaFleur officially retired after a 40-year career with Job Corps and Gavin Gorham, who has served as career services director at the center the past eight years, took over as center director.

LaFleur, who has served at Muhlenberg Job Corps three years, started his Job Corps career in Job Corps at the Delaware Valley Job Corps Center in Callicoon, NY, as a health occupations instructor in 1980. Later that year, he became a recreation supervisor and then a group life manager at the center.

LaFleur left the Delaware Valley Job Corps Center in 1989 for Westover Job Corps Center in Westover, MA, where he served as the group life manager, but soon returned to Delaware Valley Job Corps and worked there from 1990- 1993. From 1993-2001 he served as the education manager at Red Rock Job Corps Center in Pennsylvania, and from 2003-2007, LaFleur served as the deputy center director for Grafton Job Corps Center.

From 2007 on, Lafleur served as the center director at three Job Corps centers — Grafton, Delaware Valley, and finally the Muhlenberg Job Corps Center. “My entire work life has been dedicated to the Job Corps program and the students that we serve,” LaFleur said. “They are the future of our country. They are our next leaders.”

LaFleur served as a mentor to many during his tenure at the Muhlenberg Job Corps Center and dedicated his time to making the center and Western Kentucky better places. As part of his role as mentor, LaFleur started the garden and fishing clubs on center, sharing his passion for both with the students of Muhlenberg Job Corps.

During his retirement party Jan. 29, Jackie Sommers, assistant to Kentucky State Representative Melinda Gibbons-Prunty, presented LaFleur with a Citation of Appreciation. The Citation of Appreciation acknowledges LaFleur’s dedication to the Job Corps program and the many lives he has positively influenced.

LaFleur will return home to New York to rejoin his family and spend more time fishing and golfing.

Gavin Gorham draws on 17 years of Job Corps experience in new role

Gorham brings 17 years of Job Corps experience to his new role as center director. He began his Job Corps career as a residential advisor and has served as a recreation specialist, Career Preparation Phase instructor, Career Transition Readiness instructor, Student Government Association coordinator, Student Personnel Office manager, and most recently as the Career Services director.

As center director, Gorham’s top priority “is and will always be safety. I want Muhlenberg Job Corps to be a safe environment for learning, a place where staff want to work and where students want to learn,” Gorham said. “We are training the leaders of tomorrow here, and learning cannot begin to occur without the basic physiological and safety needs being met.”

Gorham said the center also has the immediate goal of increasing its On-Board Strength (OBS) to bring the center up to full operating capacity. Increasing OBS involves recruiting new students who can use the services provided by Job Corps and educating the community about the many training programs and opportunities available to qualifying area youth and young adults through Muhlenberg Job Corps.

Gorham is a Muhlenberg county native and a graduate of Western Kentucky University.

In announcing his appointment as center director, Sandra Catalan, president of Insights Training Group LLC, which operates Muhlenberg Job Corps, said, “Insights is very excited to have Gavin as our newly appointed Center Director at the Muhlenberg JCC. Gavin’s 17 years of Job Corps experience combined with his desire to mentor staff and to help youth achieve success in their educational goals and career pathways has prepared him to naturally move into this role. We are confident that he will lead the center toward continued success and build and enhance center programs that will guide our students to achieve needed career skills.”

By:  Jacob Groves