Duane attended Grafton (Massachusetts) Job Corps Center in 2001.

After completing the carpentry program there, he entered the UBC Carpenters Apprenticeship in 2002. He says, “I had no family or friends that were in a Union, and there is no way I ever would’ve even heard of a Union if it hadn’t been for Job Corps.” He had done some construction work as a teenager, but figured he probably would’ve ended up working in a factory in his hometown of Gardner, MA. He said Job Corps was literally the key to his future.

When Duane interviewed to join the Union, his previous experience and a great recommendation from his instructor helped him to start as a 2nd year apprentice.

Six years later, Duane and three other members of his Local were among the first to take advantage of a new agreement between the New England Carpenters Training Fund and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, which allowed members to get an associate degree in construction management.

As he progressed through the program, Duane realized that construction management was probably not for him, because he really valued his time with family each day. He is happy that he earned the associate degree, though. He was a steward for about eight years and is also a delegate for Local 336.

In 2023, Duane was inducted into the Job Corps Hall of Fame.

One of the highlights of his career in the field was getting to enjoy the occasional lunch with his daughter while he was working on her school!

Two things that Duane wants to make sure everyone knows about the UBC Job Corps Pre-Apprenticeship program:

  1. It is a myth that students who go to Job Corps are “at the end of the line; it’s this or jail.”
  2. It doesn’t matter if a young person comes from a disadvantaged background, they’re still worthy of having opportunity.

In his experience, “the brightest, sweetest students with the most potential come from the worst situations. They can fly when they have the opportunity.”

Discover the Trade That’s Waiting for You!

The UBC Job Corps is your opportunity to discover a career that combines passion with practicality, where every day brings a new challenge and the chance to work hands-on to make a tangible impact.

Through work-based learning and mentorship, you’ll gain the skills and confidence to excel in a field that values creativity, resilience and hard work.

Let us guide you toward a fulfilling career path that not only promises a bright future, but also the satisfaction of building it with your own hands.

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