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Earth Day Every Day Demand-side Management Winners

Published: January 27, 2010 | 12:10 PMARRA

With so many centers working diligently nationwide to implement green programs and initiatives on campus, picking our first round of Earth Day Every Day (EDED) Demand-side Management Award winners was a difficult task. The two centers from each Region listed below were chosen for going above and beyond in their efforts to recycle, reduce waste, and cut back on water and energy usage. The Regional Offices will be accepting applications for the second round of Demand-side Management Awards soon. To be considered in this round, your center must submit a completed application (Instruction Notice 08-48) to your respective Regional Office no later than COB, March 31. Winners will be announced in April. Centers can also be nominated for EDED Center Recognition Awards. Applications are due to the Regional Office by Jan. 31, with the National Office making the regional selections by Feb. 17.

Boston Region Winners:

The Iroquois Job Corps Center implemented initiatives to save approximately 368,000 gallons of water per year by replacing showerheads and toilets with water-saving devices and cut electricity and gas costs by switching out old light bulbs with more energy-efficient bulbs. The center also created "Project Green Thumb," a Student Government Association-run recycling program for cans and bottles.

The Ramey Job Corps Center reduced its electricity costs by 13 percent last year. The center achieved this goal by closely monitoring energy usage on center and implementing new conservation measures, such as regulating thermostat settings to reduce cooling costs, turning off lights, installing new Energy Star equipment and water-saving devices, and recycling. The center also implemented xeriscaping by planting native plants to reduce the impact on the environment and installed three solar-lighting systems in its gazebo area.

Philadelphia Region Winners:

The Keystone Job Corps Center reduced its energy usage by almost 10 percent over the last year, despite an increase in its number of students. The center achieved these goals by installing solar panels and smart meters and by working closely with the local water authority to monitor water consumption on campus.

The Woodland Job Corps Center installed 27 solar panels, becoming the first to offer solar-panel installation training through a partnership with Anne Arundel Community College and the Chesapeake chapter of Independent Electrical Contractors. More than 75 Job Corps students participated in the program last year and are positioned to find sustainable employment opportunities in the green industry.

Atlanta Region Winners:

The Finch-Henry Job Corps Center (Batesville Job Corps Center) saved 231,300 gallons of water over a three-month period last year and implemented energy-efficiency measures that included purchasing Energy Star products and replacing light bulbs. The center also held a "Green Day," inviting a local university’s professors to speak to students and staff on best green practices, and created a "Green Committee" to lead conservation efforts on campus. Future plans include building a greenhouse on campus.

The Gadsden Job Corps Center started a recycling program that is expected to save 2,600 pounds of solid waste a year, replaced light bulbs on campus for a projected savings of 10,400 kilowatts of energy per year, and appointed a "green" officer on its SGA to spearhead conservation efforts on center. The center also purchased new Energy Star copiers, front-loading washers and dryers, and green office supplies.

Dallas Region Winners:

The North Texas Job Corps Center reduced its gas usage by 10 percent and its water usage by 30 percent over the last year. A committee of staff and students has also implemented a recycling program, placing recycling bins in all dorms, classrooms and other buildings on campus.

The Tulsa Job Corps Center cut its energy consumption by 3 percent, reduced water usage by 10 percent and implemented The Waste Paper Recycling Program, which kept 4.39 tons of paper out of the local landfills in 2009 through daily recycling. The center achieved these goals by installing motion detectors on lights, faucets, and toilets, replacing light bulbs, and using recycle boxes across campus to save paper.

Chicago Region Winners:

The Dayton Job Corps Center saved $9,392 by reducing the center’s energy consumption by 111,600 kilowatts during the past 11 months. The center has also implemented a Team Dayton Energy Efficient Program to encourage energy savings on campus, organized a recycling program and installed a more energy-efficient boiler system in the main building.

The Denison Job Corps Center implemented the "Be a Green Hero and Not a Green Zero" campaign to encourage staff and students to reduce, reuse and recycle. The campaign has led to a 15.6 percent decrease in water usage and a 14.5 percent reduction in electricity usage and to recycling approximately 8,280 pounds of material each quarter.

San Francisco Region Winners:

The Alaska Job Corps Center reduced its energy usage by 12.7 percent, cut back on waste, and installed motion-detector lights and energy-efficient boilers. The center also decreased its water consumption by 9.4 percent by using low-flow showerheads and reusing available water through rain gutters and rain collection devices.

The Sacramento Job Corps Center decreased its energy consumption by installing thermostat locks, purchasing drought-tolerant plants, implementing drip irrigation system timers, weather-stripping doors, and installing automatic flushing mechanisms and motion-detector lights.

Congratulations to our first round of EDED Demand-side Management Award winners and to all centers for their green efforts over the past few months. Keep up the good work, and check back soon for updates on our next round of winners.

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Judge Sergio A. Gutierrez

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:12 PM

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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Troy Carter

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:09 PM

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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Earth Day Every Day 

Published: January 07, 2010 | 2:04 PMARRA

Twelve centers have been awarded the first round Demand-side Management Awards, which are a part of Job Corps' Earth Day Every Day (EDED) initiatives. Congratulations to the winners! They are: 

  • Boston Region – Ramey and Iroquois Job Corps 
  • Philadelphia Region – Woodland and Keystone Job Corps 
  • Atlanta Region – Finch Henry (Batesville) and Gadsden Job Corps 
  • Dallas Region – North Texas and Tulsa Job Corps 
  • Chicago Region – Dayton and Denison Job Corps 
  • San Francisco Region – Alaska and Sacramento Job Corps 

The next EDED award deadline is January 31. Please remember to deliver submissions for the Center Recognition Award to your Regional Office by this date. For more information about this particular award, please refer to Information Notice 08-48. 

In other Earth Day Every Day-related news, please be on the lookout soon for the release of an EDED programming guide. This guide will provide an activity schedule for the entire EDED Week (April 12-22). Stay tuned for more information regarding this guide and other exciting EDED plans. 

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Monique Williams Jordan

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:11 PM

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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Denison Job Corps Center

Published: March 12, 2010 | 3:28 PMARRA

The Denison Job Corps Center has generated so much attention for its commitment to recycling that a waste management association has requested to hold part of its statewide training meeting on center. Members of the Iowa Society of Solid Waste Management will be at the Denison Job Corps Center on March 30 to learn more about the center's recycling efforts and to tour the facility. The interest shows that "Be a Green Hero, Not a Green Zero," the newly adopted motto for its recycling program, is a lot more than a catchy phrase on a T-shirt – it's fast becoming a center philosophy that's being put into action and recognized within the community.

Students and staff members have been very busy over the past several months implementing programs and making the necessary changes to become a more environmentally conscious campus. One recent major initiative was a center-wide competition aimed at increasing recycling and raising awareness among students and staff, who were divided into six teams of equal size.

Prior to the kickoff of the competition, the Denison Welding students retrofitted a large trailer into a recycling center with three compartments: one for cardboard boxes, one for paper, and one for glass, metal, and plastic. Teams were encouraged to fill up at least one trash bag's worth of recyclables each week and bring them to a recycling trailer marked with their team's color-coded plastic tie. Each time the recycling trailer was emptied by the maintenance staff, the Denison JCC Impact Innovations Coordinator tallied up the total number of bags recycled by each team.

At the end of the contest, the center had recycled a total of 20,320 pounds during a six-month period. All teams recycled at least one bag per week to receive a free T-shirt, and the winning team was rewarded with a special outing to a local park.

"It was so exciting to see how much we were able to recycle over the span of the entire competition," said Denison Job Corps student Terri Hetrick. "Imagine how much waste we could reduce as a country if everyone committed to filling up at least one trash bag's worth of recyclables per week. I'm proud to be a part of Job Corps' green efforts and want to do my part to help raise environmental awareness."

For Denison Job Corps students and staff, "Reduce, Reuse and Recycle" has become second nature. The Welding students are already in the process of building a second recycling trailer that will be located next to the dorms, and the center kicked off another recycling competition on Feb. 10 that now challenges the six teams to fill at least five trash bags of recyclables per week. Keep up the great work, Denison!

Denison students and staff members are also implementing several other ARRA initiatives on center in addition to their impressive recycling efforts. Some of these projects include:

  • An organic garden that was planted and harvested by the Culinary Arts students.
  • The installation of low-flow toilets, showerheads, and faucets in the dormitories.
  • The order and purchase of three four-wheel-drive electric vehicles.
  • The installation of more energy-efficient light bulbs, HVAC units, and windows.
  • The replacement of a steamer in the cafeteria with an Energy-Star-rated appliance.
  • The purchase of recycled materials such as toilet paper, Kleenex tissues, printer toner, cornstarch eating utensils and recycled copy machine paper.
  • The implementation of green TARs in the Bricklaying, Carpentry, Facilities Maintenance, Painting, and Welding career technical training areas.
  • The education of staff and students on energy-saving practices such as turning off lights in unoccupied areas and unplugging electronic appliances when not in use.
  • The implementation of a green-focused Resources Committee on center that has one representative from each dorm.

Special note – Denison JCC was one of two Chicago Region Earth Day Every Day Demand-side Management Award winners.

If you have news to share about your center and want to be featured in a center spotlight, please e-mail OJC.ARRA@DOL.GOV.

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