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Home / Community / BREAKING THE CYCLE: One Opportunity at a Time!

BREAKING THE CYCLE: One Opportunity at a Time!


Chris Delesandri and his team are, quite simply, unstoppable. They seem to specialize…and delight in the impossible. Somehow over the course of less than a year, they have managed to be in a position to present the City of Texas City with nearly one million dollars. As we stand in the middle of a room surrounded by walls of frames holding logos of 24+ organizations that help others under the umbrella of United Way Galveston County, Chris is busy singing the praises of The Salvation Army, his staff, his Instructors, the graduates…all the while playing host to everyone as they arrive; taking care to find out who likes their steak to “moo”, slipping into his apron to go back and prepare all those steaks and then proceeding to serve as Master of Ceremonies as each graduate of the 12-week FLUOR training program is honored for his commitment to the program.
Each is invited to the front to share his story about the transformative experience this training has been for each one of them. One graduate tells me his faith and belief in himself has been restored. One speaks of troubled times and FLUOR as his AHA moment of self- realization and yet another about being humbled by the knowledge he received through his training experience. The phenomenal part of this story is that each of these young men, after 12 weeks of 40+ hour days, has found himself on the other side of success; the winning side.
Some time is given to each of the Instructors, all of whom began in a plant environment and found themselves, after many years of plant work, ready to give back, grateful for the opportunity to share what they have learned, inspired by the knowledge that the impact they have in their current roles is far reaching and the end result is apparent in the faces of the young men whom they have taught. Not only does this program provide these men with highly marketable skills, it seems to ground them and give them a sense of their own worth and much more valuable than when they began their journey.
As our economic climate continue to change and grow away from traditional career environments and skill sets, far too many young men and women begin to see themselves as unskilled, outdated, unhireable. They do not see a way to acquire the skills that businesses are looking for. A commitment to even a two-year college prep program is out of reach for so many young people and often they become lost, unfocused, depressed and many times, lured into unhealthy and self-destructive behaviors. All too often the side effects of that thought process is that they fall out of the workforce altogether and they become a drain on society rather than an active participant and contributor.
The commitment FLUOR has made to be a proactive force against the loss of opportunity for our young people should serve as a shining example for business in every facet of our economy. And the commitment of organizations like United Way, FLUOR and Salvation Army to come together and create a path for those bright minds that would otherwise simply languish in despair, is a roadmap for all of us to be a part of a way up and out for an army of lost souls who could and would benefit from an attainable and effective program like FLUOR and Chris Delesandre and his team have put together.
Having the opportunity to witness the celebration of these young men’s fresh start was so uplifting and listening to their mentors – because truly these men are much more than simply instructors – was downright exhilarating. We were witness to a mutual celebration of positive energy and shared accomplishment that can be nothing more than powerful momentum for both sides of this shared journey. There is little more enjoyable than to be in the presence of individuals stating their case; acknowledging their own accomplishments and celebrating the future awaiting them.

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