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Pulte and Historic Chapel on Tucson Job Corps Scene

Home Builders Institute (HBI) programs at the Fred G. Acosta Job Corps Center (JCC) in Tucson, Ariz. continue to thrive, providing support for the local community and answering the need for skilled workers among local home builders.

Under the leadership of John Gallagher, HBI’s 2005 Instructor of the Year, qualified students continue to graduate with skills in plumbing, facilities maintenance and electrical wiring.

A ‘Superintendent-in-Training’ for Pulte

Stemming from a visit to Pulte’s Sierra Morada site in Tucson by Gallagher and his students earlier this year, the company has initiated a pilot internship program for entry-level superintendents.

Working with Jose Moreno, Pulte’s superintendent at Sierra Morada, Albert Preston was the first Job Corps “superintendent-in-training” at the site. Each day, he walked with the building inspector, keeping a daily log of inspections; contacted subcontractors to correct work; maintained accurate spread sheets; and called ahead for next day’s inspections.

Preston made a strong impression on Pulte superintendents, City of Tucson building inspectors and subcontractors alike. After completing the internship and graduating from the program, he was hired as a permanent assistant superintendent of the Framing Department by Pratte Building Systems, an exclusive Pulte subcontractor.

“I am extremely proud to see our students working at such a professional level straight out of Job Corps,” said Gallagher. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.”

Historic Chapel Gets a Face Lift

In October, a week-long revitalization project at the historic old Mary Immaculate Chapel in Tucson tested the skills of students from the Acosta Job Corps Center.

Spearheading an effort to give the chapel a face lift were Alex Jacome, the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association's government liaison; Greg Miedema, owner of Dakota Builders and the association’s incoming chair; and Gallagher.

The project called for the removal of everything that was not in the original structure, and HBI students were put in charge of ripping out walls, drywall, glass, stairs, cabinets, plumbing fixtures and floors from an office space remodel.

The goal of the project was to restore the chapel to its original 1916 condition and have it placed on the National Register of Historic Places. All usable materials were donated to Habitat for Humanity. Students — who receive hands-on training at the center by working on community service projects — participated in the chapel restoration as part of “Make a Difference Day.”

Local media coverage included a front-page story in The Arizona Daily Star and reports by CBS and ABC affiliates.

HBI, the workforce development arm of NAHB, each year trains and places more than 2,000 at-risk youths enrolled in the Department of Labor’s Job Corps program in industry-related jobs.

For more information on HBI’s Job Corps programs, e-mail Maria McIntyre at HBI, or call her at 800-959-0052 x8912.

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