United States Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, relayed this message to the 36 new graduates of the Brunswick Job Corps Center at the summer graduation ceremony held Friday afternoon.
Carter began his address to the graduates with a warm congratulations. Next, he challenged them to begin the next phase of their lives with a commitment to giving back.
“Now you go into the workforce and now you have the opportunity to help our economy,” Carter said. “Now you have the opportunity to improve your quality of life, improve your family’s quality of life and, perhaps most importantly, you have the opportunity to improve our world.”
The Brunswick Job Corps Center is a federally-funded education and career preparation program that helps students ages 16 to 24 receive technical and academic training.
The ceremony Friday celebrated the accomplishments of the most recent group of graduates.
“When I enrolled at the Brunswick Job Corps Center in January 2018, I had no idea of what to expect,” said Antonio Foster, a graduate, who has plans to major in psychology at Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta. “… I came determined to learn and acquire a skill set that would create a career path for me, that would be the catalyst for my life.”
Mel Gaines, director of Job Corps Center, said Carter has long supported the program and seen the value it offers.
“We don’t have to prod him for his support,” Gaines said. “We don’t have to beg him for his support, because as a businessman he knows how important it is to have good workers in the workplace.”
Carter told the graduates they’re entering the workforce at a time of great economic prosperity in the U.S.
“Our unemployment rate is at one of the lowest levels it has ever been at,” he said. “In fact for certain groups, it’s at the lowest level that it’s ever been at … It’s a great time for you to be entering the workforce.”
He congratulated the graduates for their hard work, dedication and persistence.
“This is no small feat, what you’ve done here,” he said. “This is something that you should be congratulated for. But now comes the next part.”
Carter encouraged the graduates to contribute both to the workforce and to the community.
“We need you to be part of our society,” Carter said. “We need you to be part of our community, whether it be on the school board, on the city council, on the county commission — whatever it may be.”
Now, he told the graduates, they have a responsibility to help others find success.
“I think you all would agree that, had it not been for someone who helped you along the way, that you probably wouldn’t be here either,” he said. “Now it’s time for you to give back. Now it’s time for you to take that opportunity. We are so very proud of you.”