Local business owner Mike Bailey addresses Job Corps graduates
On Friday, November 10th, Wind River Job Corps held its fifth graduation since opening its doors in 2015. 27 students walked across the stage to accept credentials marking their completion of high school credits and vocational certifications in various fields. The accomplishments of this class of graduates were celebrated by speeches from the center’s directors, various musical selections, and speeches from the students themselves.
Guest speaker Mike Bailey, Riverton City Council Member and founder of Bailey Enterprises, also addressed the student body prior to the students receiving their certifications. His speech was fraught with emotional moments as Bailey reminisced of his own graduation from Riverton High School and Central Wyoming College, his path to launching a successful business, and shared with the students some of the hard lessons he’s learned along the way.
“Don’t worry, I cry at store openings too,” Bailey joked. “Give your career 110% and it will treat you well,” Bailey told the graduates. Bailey made it a point to mention the work that went into the Center’s development before it’s opening, stating, “We did this all for people just like you, to give you a chance to learn a skill. To go out in the world and be able to get a job and make a living and be a productive member of society.”
“Again, the big question becomes, how are you going to choose to use the gifts that you’ve been given,” Bailey asked of the graduates. “This job corps center has given you some tools to put in your toolbox to go out in the world and get a career.” Bailey focused in on the next set of challenges that the graduates will face as they build their careers, encouraging the students to fight complacency and continue to learn from their surroundings and continue to improve themselves.
Bailey’s words were reciprocated by several of the student speakers throughout the ceremony, who reminisced about good times at WRJC and the moments that challenged them along the way. Always sure to bring it back around to the point that their work was not finished, although they were proud to celebrate reaching the significant milestone that the ceremony represented. There was an air of pride and support among students and the community members who were in attendance at the ceremony.
Of the 27 students who walked across the stage, 5 of them plan to stay in Fremont County to attend classes at Central Wyoming College, while the other 22 plan to go to work in their own hometowns, join the military, or attend college in another city.