A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

Ready for Industry Boot Camp Signing Day [VIDEO]

Last month, I talked with Quincy Gibbs, who had just completed a “boot camp,” a Ready for Industry (RFI) program, offered by ABC Houston’s Construction and Maintenance Education Foundation (CMEF).  Gibbs learned about the opportunity at Dr. Kirk Lewis Career and Technical High School (CTHS), and crafted his application letter as soon as he heard about the program.  He was accepted, and he and 16 other high school students completed the program while still in high school.  On June 19, several of the boot camp graduates met with representatives from the companies who had hired them for a formal “signing day” at CMEF’s brand new training building, which was also officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that day.  Gibbs signed with Performance Contractors, Inc., and was excited to start work later that week as a combination welder.  In addition to working for Performance, Gibbs will continue to train with classes at San Jacinto College sponsored by CMEF.

When he thinks about his future, Gibbs is looking to continue growing.  He wants to improve his craft, better himself, and take advantage of all future opportunities that come his way.  He said he plans to work hard and be dillegent in learning everything that he is able to.

Chad Whetro, Corporate HR andTraining Coordinator at Performance Contractors, said that CMEF has offered this type of program to military veterans in the past, but this was only the second time CMEF and their corporate sponsors had conducted it for high school students.  The program is actually designed for high school students, but CMEF’s sponsors suggested that the skills taught through the program could also be used by veterans, and that led CMEF to “tweak” the program a little and offer it to veterans.  This year’s high school graduate signing day was a new addition, where some of the corperate sponsors sat at tables with their new hires and signed an agreement “to work together to cultivate a safe and productive career in construction.”

You may listen to my interview of Gibbs in the 2½-minute video below.

Bonus video: Hear more about the boot camp in this 3-minute video by Fox 26 Houston's Morning Show Anchor José Griñan:
Recent high school grads go through Ready for Industry boot camp for construction jobs