The Encore movement is a national effort to leverage the energy and experience of Americans who seek to fill community needs upon retirement or near the end of their primary careers. Launched in 2013 by the Cleveland Foundation, Encore Cleveland helps to connect and fund a network of organizations to provide experienced Greater Clevelanders with an array of meaningful opportunities in the community.
WIRE-Net’s Youth Programs, in collaboration with Max S. Hayes High School, were pleased to finish the 2015-16 with some great success stories from the Technical Corps Program (TCP) that made its debut in the machining, welding, and manufacturing design career pathways. Gary Dudich, a retired Journeyman Iron Worker, served as a Technical Corps member in the welding lab during the Spring semester.
At eighteen years old, I had my life planned out perfectly – or so I thought. It was the summer of 1997 and I had just graduated Strongsville High School and was set to attend Cuyahoga Community College, and transfer to OSU shortly after. My older sisters had already gone off to college, and my parents wanted, even expected, me to follow suit. My neighbor owned an HVAC company, and offered me a job delivering parts to his technicians for the summer. Business was booming that year, and before I knew it I was being sent on service calls, and doing fairly well.
I'll admit it: I grew up in the sixties. It was a different world then, but not so different when it comes to a young person making his or her way in life—attaining knowledge and skills necessary to provide for a family. In 1969 my soon-to-be-husband was the only person at his high school to be accepted in three different apprenticeship programs. What an honor, and what a life decision. He chose sheet metal, earned his journeyman certificate and hired on at Ohio Brass Co.