The Story of a Food Services Manager Who’s Focused on More Than Just Food

Meet James McCrae, the food services manager at the Turner Job Corps Center in Albany, Georgia.

“I enjoy what I do, I do. And the students that come back and say, ‘Mr. McCrae. I’m graduating tomorrow. Are you going to be there? Mr. McCrae. I got a job.’ You know that means that I’ve touched that kid somewhere because he thought enough to come back here and tell me about it.”

James has served in Job Corps for more than 30 years. His mother worked at the Turner center; in fact, the center’s cafeteria is named in her honor.

James says Job Corps has always been a big part of his family, and although he never attended as a student—his mom always wanted him to!

“My mother worked at Job Corps until she retired. And she told me all the time, she said, ‘Boy, if I had known what it was, you would have been the first one there.’ Because I wasn’t a good student in school.”

Joking aside, James says while his primary job is to make sure students are well fed—he’s just as focused on helping them succeed in life. He often tells them,

“Remember why you came here. If you came here for education, don’t let anything get in front of that education. If you came here for a trade, don’t let anything or anybody get in front of that because that’s why you came here.”