St. Louis Job Corps Center Helps Prepare Students for Union Masonry Careers
At the St. Louis, Missouri Job Corps Center, brick instructor and BAC Local 1 MO member Dale Jennewein is helping to prepare students for the workforce and inspiring them to consider union masonry careers.
"I really enjoy teaching the kids that are excited to go out into the world and become bricklayers," said Jennewein. "When the students first come to the center, many don't know anything about the trade, so it's a thrill to watch them progress and get to the point where I can set them loose on a project and have them lay out and build a wall with very little direction."
Job Corps students receive up to 12 months of classroom and hands-on instruction. Upon graduation, students can enter a BAC joint apprenticeship training program to continue their training. In St. Louis, students get hands-on experience by helping with maintenance and repair efforts around the center. Last spring, for example, Jennewein guided students through a project to rebuild a storage garage built with 100% masonry – block back-up with brick veneer and glass block windows.
"I'm a success story of the Job Corps program," said Jennewein. "Before I returned to Job Corps as an instructor, I was a foreman out on job sites running work. When I was invited to come back to teach, I knew if I could get young students today started in their journey the way the program did for me, that it would be rewarding work."
Like Jennewein, many Job Corps students go on to become BAC members, working out of Locals across the country, including most recently, OH/KY ADC, Local 1 MD/VA/DC, NJ ADC, Local 3 NY, Local 3 IA, and Local 4 IN/KY.
The International Masonry Institute (IMI) operates 30 brick and 7 tile training programs at 32 centers around the U.S., employing BAC members and instructors. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, Job Corps is a free program that helps eligible 16-24-year-olds build careers and independence. The program offers a viable pathway to a career in the trades. For more information on IMI Job Corps programs, visit http://imtef.org/job-corps-program.