From Student to Successful Instructor at Sierra Nevada Job Corps
During his late teens, Jimmy Obregon knew he needed to do something to help jump start his career, but he didn’t know where to start.
“When I saw Job Corps as an opportunity to be myself,” says Jimmy, “I was about 19 years old, head started a family, and needed a career. I was tired of moving furniture for a living, so the opportunity presented itself here at Sierra Nevada Job Corps and I was able to come here and obtain my GED and learn a trade.”
Jimmy’s instructor inspired him to come back and teach the students at Job Corps. After working as a plaster superintendent for many years, he returned to Sierra Nevada Job Corps Center, only this time as an instructor.
“It was a very good opportunity for me to come here because it was life changing and it started my future. A career in plastering is the best thing that ever happened to me, and Sierra Nevada Job Corps is the best thing that ever happened to me.”
He loves watching the students grow and turn into productive citizens. Teaching them the basics of plastering, as well as soft skills like punctuality, really allows him to get to know his students individually.
“The students make me laugh sometimes because there’s a wide variety of characters that come through the door, you never know what to expect, but [there are] really great groups of young generations that come through.”
Allowing the students to do hands-on work helps them learn trade basics even faster, helping them prepare for the day when they leave Job Corps and start a new career.
Jimmy works side-by-side with the students so they can really see what it’s like to work in the construction industry.
“The change of watching the students…the start from the beginning and seeing the end result is rewarding because they come in not knowing anything about the trade that they’re getting into and then by the time they leave here they have an idea of basics and have an understanding in safety and what to do on a construction site.”
Today, Jimmy is grateful that Job Corps is so well-supported, because without it, he wouldn’t have had the same opportunities and success in his own life.
“Working at Job Corps is very rewarding. On a daily basis, it’s a place that’d you want to come back and be at every day. It’s an experience every day—it’s a great experience.”