The craftsmanship of machining and carpentry students at the Gary Job Corps Center in San Marcos, Texas, will be on full display at a U.S. Department of Labor ceremony recognizing excellence in public service by the department’s employees on May 8. Using bronze, an alloy known for its toughness and strength, as well as oak, apple and pecan woods, prized for their durability and sustainability, the Gary students created this year’s Honor Awards for the department.
As part of their training, 16 machining and carpentry students designed and produced polished and plated bronze medallions set in velvet-lined oak, apple or pecan display cases. The face plate of each 3.5-inch medallion is engraved with the department’s seal and inscribed with “Secretary’s Honor Award 2014.” The awards represent the highest level of recognition for departmental employees whose accomplishments demonstrate excellence in serving the public. More than 100 award medallions were created by the Gary students, who are enrolled in the center’s Technical Skills Training Program.
“The skill and craftsmanship that went into making these medals epitomizes the array of opportunities provided by the 125 Job Corps centers across the country to young people eager for training that leads to bright futures,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez said. “All of us at the department thank the talented students at the Gary Jobs Corps Center for creating the awards and giving renewed meaning to the importance of public service.”
Gary Job Corps Center first opened in 1965 and is the largest Job Corps center in the nation. It offers over 20 career technical training opportunities ranging from health occupations and business technology to construction, manufacturing, and correctional and security officer training. Gary’s students produced and assembled the awards as part of skills programs that provide training and experience in a project-based environment. The medallions were cut from bronze stock, buffed, polished and gold plated before being engraved. While the medallion display cases were cut out of three types of wood, then sanded, lined with velvet and fitted with arms and hinges.
Machining student Tristan Baul of Houston said he came to the Gary center “to better my future and to train in a field where I’m constantly challenged and presented with new opportunities to move up in my field.”
Quinones of Corpus Christi came to Gary to further her education and obtain the skills needed for a meaningful career. She chose machining because “I love working with my hands.”
Job Corps, part of the department’s Employment and Training Administration, serves approximately 60,000 young people each year at 125 centers nationwide. For more information, the public should call Job Corp’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-733-JOBS.