Fred G. Acosta student places second in national competition

TUCSON, AZ (September 18, 2013) — Stars are developed through ResCare–operated Job Corps programs time and time again. At Fred G. Acosta Job Corps Center, two of these stars are shining above the rest.

From left, Miguel Gastelum, Fred G. Acosta plumbing student, and his instructor, Fabian Liera, attended Skills USA, where Mr. Gastelum won the silver medal in the national plumbing competition.

From left, Miguel Gastelum, Fred G. Acosta plumbing student, and his instructor, Fabian Liera, attended Skills USA, where Mr. Gastelum won the silver medal in the national plumbing competition.

The center’s Home Builders Institute of Plumbing and Electrical Vocations recently participated in Skills USA, one of the most demanding career and technical competitions in the nation. The best career and technical students in the U.S. convened and competed for national recognition. Silver medal winner in the plumbing competition, Miguel Gastelum, couldn’t have done it without the help of Fabian Liera, former Fred G. Acosta Job Corps Center graduate and current plumbing instructor.

Mr. Liera graduated from Fred G. Acosta Job Corps Center in 1993 and now provides work-based learning opportunities for Job Corps students at his business Ironwood Winnelson Plumbing Supply. In 2011, Mr. Liera joined the Acosta Job Corps team as a plumbing instructor.

During his time working at the center, Mr. Liera has taught Mr. Gastelum and other students the skills necessary to be successful in the plumbing trade. Mastery of these skills was confirmed when Mr. Gastelum placed second out of 51 plumbing contestants. Although Mr. Gastelum did not have the level of experience as other competitors, including post-secondary or apprentice work, his work demonstrated the value of a dedicated instructor and student.

“I could not be any more proud of Miguel,” Mr. Liera said. “He trained really hard and went up against the best of the best. Achieving second place in the entire country is a great accomplishment.”

Author: Moriah Dietrich