Highlights of Success - Jack

As our project is maturing, so are our outcomes. Our trainees are quickly moving through training with the Jane Addams Resource Corporation and finding quality jobs through the Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing. Check out this short bit about one of our very first graduates - and congratulations Jack!

Highlights of Success: Jack

Jack O’Connor first came to the MWMWC in July of 2014 with a mission. The son of white-collar business owners, Jack knew for a long time that he was made for something different.

“I was without a real plan. Highschool went as well as my family could expect, but afterwards I couldn’t seem to find the right path for me.”

At first, Jack followed the same route as his peers, attending college and taking a few courses while he figured out the right fit. Taking general education courses wasn’t really motivating for this hands-on chap, and soon enough Jack found himself in a different type of classroom.

“I took my first welding class in 2012. It turned out that I really loved the craft. Working with my hands and creating something really got me excited to learn.”

Unfortunately, the pacing of these courses began to pass him by. When Jack tried college again in 2013, the same issues led him to drop out once more. The struggle for the next year wasn’t easy. Jack got in trouble with the law a couple of times, but his passion for welding never left him. Jack ended up buying his own welding machine and would tinker in the garage for hours.

“You know, I knew I had to make my own way. Welding was something I enjoyed, something I thought I could excel in. I couldn’t give that up.”

It was July of 2014 when Jack first walked into a Career Connect recruiting event. His mother heard from an outreach volunteer of an up and coming training program in the Addison area.

Jack was one of the first individuals actually accepted into the collaborative’s training program, and his experience paved the way for future welders. Working at his own pace gave him the confidence to perfect his skills in his own time. Jack quickly became one of JARC’s top students, and was named shift manager of his training program.

“I love the training program. It’s gotten me out of my post-highschool slump, and I’m motivated to make something of myself.”

Just recently, Jack was just hired as a welder and will be continuing his growth in in the field. He considers this the right step into what will be a life-long career path.

“I’m just really excited to move forward now. I feel like I’ve found my way, and I’m going to make sure that I succeed in it.”