Week of December 8, 2008
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Job Corps Students a ‘Blessing’ to Communities



HBI Region 4 program manager Frank Kawalec set roof trusses in the early stages of the 12-home build blitz.

More than 250 Job Corps students and staff members joined local volunteers from Louisiana’s Lafayette and Vermilion parishes this fall to participate in a 12-home Habitat for Humanity blitz build.

The two parishes were hit hard by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and again by Gustav and Ike in 2008.

Home Builders Institute programs from Texas, Montana, Oklahoma and Louisiana participated in the blitz, which began on Oct. 20 and was completed on Nov. 7. 

HBI Regional Program Manager Frank Kawalac, Shreveport Job Corps Center instructor Michael Smith, Tulsa instructor Larry Stephens and Talking Leaves’ Jerry Caviness were among the staff members who spearheaded HBI participation.

“Habitat for Humanity is a great partner for our programs around the country. It offers meaningful experience, rewarding work and the chance to truly make a difference in someone’s  life,” said HBI Chairman John Moffitt. “I can’t think of a better way to introduce our students to what home building is all about.”

Meanwhile, for the past year the Roswell Job Corps Center in New Mexico has continued its ongoing partnership with the local chapter of the Boys & Girls Club, with its students working to refurbish the club by making repairs, completing electrical work and painting.

Roswell Boys & Girls Club Executive Director Arthur Garcia called the Job Corps students “a blessing” and said “they have really shown their commitment to our community.”

Throughout October, students at the Grafton Job Corps Center in Massachusetts contributed more than 1,000 hours to building the Hector E. Reyes House, a residential substance abuse treatment center.  In a letter to HBI Regional Program Manager Gregg Romano, Dr. Mattie Castiel, executive director of the Latin American Health Alliance, the organization responsible for operating the Reyes House, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to HBI’s students and instructors.

Castiel was so pleased with the work that she invited Romano to speak at the Reyes Home opening ceremony and had more than 12 HBI students fitted for tuxedos so they could attend.

HBI’s Teamwork in Training publication details HBI/Job Corps community service efforts across the country.

For more information on Job Corps, e-mail Keith Albright or Maria McIntyre at HBI, or call them at 800-795-7955, x8911 and x8912, respectively.



In the later stages of construction, HBI students observed instructor Michael Smith installing a conduit to power the house.

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