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News Release

ETA News Release: [05/09/2013]
Contact Name: Michael Volpe
Phone Number: (202) 693-4651
Release Number: 13-0900-NAT

Vermont and Utah Job Corps students combine skills to create awards honoring service of US Labor Department employees

WASHINGTON — Job Corps students and instructors from Vermont and Utah used recycling and sustainability in creating unique, handcrafted awards honoring the service and dedication of U.S. Department of Labor employees who are recipients of the 2013 Secretary of Labor's Honor Awards.

Annual Honor Awards represent the highest level of recognition used to acknowledge employees whose work and accomplishments achieved an outstanding level and demonstrated excellence in promoting the department's mission in goals set under the leadership of acting Secretary Seth D. Harris. This year's theme is "Then, Now, Next," symbolizing the 100 years that the U.S. Department of Labor has unwaveringly promoted the welfare of working Americans.

Job Corps centers competed to design this year's award. The winning design is an aluminum medallion hung from a metal "C" hook embedded into a wooden base with a matching centennial face plate affixed.

In a ceremony today, scores of Labor Department employees received awards in recognition of their exceptional efforts and outstanding displays of professionalism, teamwork and dedication. Issues ranged from preparing veterans to find good jobs and protecting the rights and wages of vulnerable workers to ensuring the security of retirement benefits and improving highway worker zone safety.

The department honored employees from numerous agencies, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Office of Disability Employment Policy, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, the Veterans' Employment and Training Service, the Wage and Hour Division, the Women's Bureau, the Office of the Solicitor, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Bureau of International Labor Affairs, the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, the Employment and Training Administration, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, the Office of Inspector General, the Office of Labor-Management Standards and the Office of Public Affairs.

ETA's Job Corps is the nation's largest career technical training and education program for students ages 16 through 24. The program serves approximately 60,000 young people each year at 125 centers in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Northlands Job Corps, Vergennes, Vt.

Under the direction of welding instructor Jim Blanchard, a Navy veteran, students from four Career Technical Training Programs – welding, carpentry, urban forestry and auto collision – decided to use recycled products from the past, present and the future (Then, Now, Next) for their creation.

Northlands Urban Forestry students, led by arborist instructors Jeremy Riemersma and David Gross and carpentry instructor Todd Lossman, removed several sustainably harvested brown maple trees from the Rokeby Museum property in Ferrisburgh, Vt. Students and instructors worked with cutting the lumber into wooden bases, which were sanded and finished.

Then students under the direction of welding instructor Tony Bosnich cut recycled pipe and used a plasma cutter and a gas tungsten arc welding process to produce the hook from which a medallion would be hung.  After the assembly of the pieces, auto body instructor Sidney Messick and his students prepared the surfaces and used a spray paint coating for the finished product.

Past: harvested wood and reclaimed pipe
Present: welding, cutting and painting utilizing materials available
Future: developing skills for future craftsmen

Northland Job Corps students Dylan Vose, Victoria Finley, Omar Hutchinson, Timothy Hamlin, Marquis Benjamin, Samantha Burgess, Muhamud Jeilani, Daniel Quick, Jason Hubbard and Sage Gratton participated.

Clearfield Job Corps, Clearfield, Utah

Machining instructor David Howell assigned his students to create the medallion and centennial face plate using Feature Cam software. Once the design was approved, the students made a draft of the medallion and centennial face plate on a HASS CNC mill using both bronze and aluminum materials. Then students, under the supervision of welding instructors Roger Holcomb and Glenn Stott, used an Adira metal sheer to rough cut the scores of medallions and face plates into manageable pieces that were shaped, milled and given a hole at the top for display hanging. Clearfield Job Corps students Justin Blenheim and Alexander Galindo participated.