CPCC, NC Back to Work Program help student start second career

last modified Jul 10, 2014 04:24 PM
CPCC, NC Back to Work Program help student start second career

Omar Castro (pictured, center)

When Omar Castro applied to Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) to enter the Concrete Finishing program, he did so hoping to make a new start in his new country. The training and new skills he gained at CPCC through the North Carolina Back to Work grant initiative helped Castro secure a position with Charlotte’s Doggett Concrete Construction Co.

When Castro married a Charlotte woman, he relocated from the Dominican Republic to the Queen City and left behind a 10-year career with a road design and construction company. Needing to find a way to restart his career, Castro entered CPCC’s Concrete Finishing program through the N.C. Back to Work initiative. NC Back to Work provides North Carolina residents grants for short-term job training and retraining in high-demand fields. The program is a partnership between the N.C. Community College System and the N.C. Department of Commerce.

“I understood CPCC’s program would be a great way to get additional training and meet contractors and decision makers within the construction industry,” Castro explained.

Castro’s hard work and willingness to restart his career led to an opportunity meet Doug Doggett, president of Doggett Concrete Construction Co., and a member the Industry Partners Advisory Committee of CPCC’s Construction Technologies Division. Doggett and other industry leaders help ensure CPCC students learn current and relevant techniques used in the field so they are well prepared for employment opportunities. It was through this interaction that Castro made his introduction and shared his resume.

“When I met Omar, I was immediately impressed with his demeanor, professionalism and experience, but his unassuming approach to finding work here really struck me,” Doggett said. “He was willing to start over, despite the progress he made over 10 years in the Dominican Republic.

“While Omar clearly was qualified for a high-level supervisory or even an on-site management position, he was willing to start, in his own words,at the bottom,’ and work his way back up to the top,” Doggett said.

Castro’s tenacity impressed Doggett enough to offer him a job. Castro is now a chief residential estimator with the company, providing job estimates for residential grading, walls, footings, slabs and driveways.

“The best assets of any company are the people,” Doggett said. “When you have people on your team who share your strong core values, aren’t afraid of hard work and have an innate dedication to excellence, you have the recipe to overcome obstacles and grow – not just as a company, but as a family and individually. I met Omar, and knew I wanted him on my team.”

For more information about CPCC’s Construction Technologies programs, based at the college’s Harper Campus, see www.cpcc.edu/construction, or call 704-330-4408.