Gary is now an ironworker at Precision Pre-Cast, working to raise panels for buildings. He graduated from Constructing Hope in fall of 2019 as a Tier 1 graduate, and he’s been working full time ever since. However, Gary faced numerous challenges before he heard about the program. He had been incarcerated and struggling with drug addiction. After he was released, he entered treatment and began searching for opportunities to turn his life around. Constructing Hope was that opportunity.

During his program training, he quickly fell in love with ironwork. Between the welding and the thrilling heights, ironworking presented an interesting opportunity for a stable career. At Constructing Hope, Gary learned the value of professionalism. Gary said that “I’d never been on a job site before, but Constructing Hope teaches you what to expect and how to be an apprentice.” The program also provided Gary with a “leg up” with safety certifications like OSHA 10, and walked him through how to enter the union of his choice. Gary says that Constructing Hope “has been there for me along the whole journey” from first entering the program through today.

Gary looks forward to becoming a journeyman ironworker. In the meantime, he’s saving up so that he can get out of debt and one day buy a house. Gary says that it was Constructing Hope that opened his eyes to the opportunities in the construction industry, especially as, with a criminal background, many other careers are inaccessible. Recounting his experience in the program, Gary said that “the name really does speak for itself. The really did construct hope in my life.”