As volunteer mentors for the Junior Achievement program, Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant employees are helping to prepare youth for the job market.
“One of my biggest interests is in empowering kids and young adults to reach for their dreams,” said lsabel Waddell, senior performance assurance specialist, PCAPP. “I believe it’s also important to teach our youth how to navigate opportunities in this complex world.”
Waddell, who teaches work-readiness, entrepreneurship, financial literacy and other life-related skills for the JA program, says she enjoys sparking the imaginations of Pueblo’s youth and teaching them about career opportunities.
With funding from Bechtel Corporation’s Building Future Leaders Initiative, PCAPP employees began volunteering for the JA program in spring 2013, serving approximately 800 students per year. Last year, they donated 189 hours, mentoring 845 students in 16 schools, said Mary K. Hammer, executive director, Pueblo District, JA of Southern Colorado.
“The Bechtel grant has allowed us to show our youth the different types of skilled and trade jobs available in Pueblo,” said Hammer. “It has enabled us to show the importance of science and math and how those subjects are applied at PCAPP.”
Bechtel partners with four global non-government organizations that promote education or use engineering and construction skills to improve the quality of life, said Marshall Thompson, a mechanical engineer who coordinates the Bechtel Pueblo Team volunteers.