November 12, 2016, FORT WAYNE, INDIANA

Over 125 people gathered at Blue Jacket, Inc. on Saturday morning to celebrate the men and women who have exhibited longevity and commitment on the job, overcoming significant difficulties.  To recognize their achievements, thirteen graduates of Blue Jacket's Career Academy training were awarded with a Dell laptop computer.

Fort Wayne Metals, a precision medical wire manufacturer, is donating thirteen refurbished laptop computers to the 13 individuals who have worked at least one year on the job.  Blue Jacket and Fort Wayne Metals are proud to announce that the average length of employment for these graduates is over three years, making these once-disadvantaged individuals valued and experienced employees.

Fort Wayne Metals partnered with the Indiana Eta chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity to refurbish the laptops decommissioned from use at Fort Wayne Metals.  The company's Corporate Social Responsibility initiative takes on an annual project to promote environmental responsibility and economic growth throughout the community.  This year, Blue Jacket's Career Academy graduates were identified as the perfect match for re-homing of resources.

Blue Jacket's intensive Career Academy training has prepared thousands of men and women in the 11 years that it has been in operation.  This year's award recipients were originally placed in transitional jobs through Blue Jacket's Staffing services, and subsequently proved their worth by gaining long term, full time employment.  Although every award recipient has faced significant barriers to employment, each has remained loyal to the companies at which they are employed.

The donated computers were wrapped by a protective neoprene sleeve provided by Signature Mac, and additional resources and manpower were provided by Indiana Tech.

Juwaun Follins, a graduate from Blue Jacket in 2009, said that he was very thankful to be recognized being committed to working at the funeral home industry as a Mortician for more than 6 ½ years now.  He has built his career building relationships with enjoys helping others.  He said, “You walk into Blue Jacket trying to find your place in this world and they give you skills to own that very suit they put you in and you start taking charge of your life again.”  - Picture attached

Tony Hudson, Executive Director of Blue Jacket reflected that, “We’ve been looking for an event to celebrate those that achieve success and exhibit their loyalty to their employers, to their families, and to this community.”  

Korinda Walls, Corporate Social Responsibility Specialist at Fort Wayne Metals, stated that she could not have been more proud to serve men and women who have proven their value to the Fort Wayne community and are so deserving of the hard work that the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brothers at Indiana Tech put into recycling and upgrading the Dell Computers.  Ms. Walls stated, “This was truly an inspirational event.”

Blue Jacket’s mission is to provide education, training, and opportunities to any disadvantaged person who is striving to earn a second chance at gainful employment.

The awarded recipients, length of time on the job, and employer were:

  • Duoc Ho – 3 years and 4 month at Catalaya Salon & Spa
  • Donald Fields II - 4 years and 1 month at Community Harvest Food Bank
  • Maria Williams - 5 years and 4 months at Arts United
  • Daniel LoPresti - 2 years and 3 months at Quadrant Engineering Plastics
  • Jonta Powell - 4 years and 6 months at Community Harvest Food Bank
  • Analilia Trevino - 3 years at IHOP
  • Jared Motz - 2 years and 6 months at Shell
  • Jawaun Follins - 6 years and 6 months at Carmichael Funeral Home
  • Altermise Jackson - 3 years and 8 months at Executive Image
  • Corey Johnson-Bey - 3 years at 305 Local Electrical Union, Schmidt Electric
  • Andria Deck - 5 years at Fort Wayne Neurological Center & Parkview
  • Aaron Kellam - 4 years at Quadrant Engineering Plastics
  • Greg White - 4 years and 6 months at Community Harvest Food Bank