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Tad Clark

Tad Clark JVS Is Father Daughter Experience for Successful JVS Graduate

Tad Clark, Carpentry, Class of: 1988
“The first time I hit my finger with a hammer, I knew construction was for me,” chuckled

Tad Clark, a 1988 Lorain County Joint Vocational School graduate.

Clark, of Amherst, credits his JVS carpentry instructors for helping him learn the technical and life skills he needed to build a successful career when he established Clark Roofing in 1990.

Clark’s JVS experience began his sophomore year when he toured the JVS campus during the school’s sophomore visitation days. He was a student at Brookside High School in Sheffield Lake.

“I was overwhelmed at first. It was such a huge facility, the biggest I’d seen as a kid, but it gave me big ideas, too,” Clark said. “My instructors were no-nonsense, cool, hands-on guys, very patient, down to earth and detail oriented. I felt pretty confident entering the working world after I graduated because of them and the projects we tackled.”

Some of these projects included building cabinets his junior year through a JVS contract with Rent-A-Center; and constructing a two-bedroom log cabin at the JVS, which was sold at auction, dismantled and rebuilt in Wellington.

“My teachers kept preaching that we had better be ready to enter the real world, that life would move quickly once we left the JVS,” said Clark, who marveled at how fast time has passed since establishing his business almost 20 years ago.

Clark said that he is also weathering today’s stormy economy because of his JVS teachers, who always emphasized the importance of good customer relations.

“The customer always comes first. Be honest and treat them with respect,”
said Clark, whose client list includes members of the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Browns.

“I guess you could call me ‘the roofer to the stars,’” Clark said, laughing.

But Clark might also have to share his “star” billing with daughters Aleah and Tiffanie. Aleah graduated from the JVS Cosmetology Program in June and Tiffanie, who is enrolled in the JVS Early Childhood Development Program, will graduate in 2010.

“My dad knew how much I wanted to style hair, and since he had such a good experience there, he recommended the JVS highly,” said Aleah, 18.

Aleah, who dreams of being a “stylist to the stars” one day, said that the business training and hair styling competitions she participated in at the JVS has prepared her well for her current managerial position in restaurant management.

“It’s a fast-paced, pressure environment, but I adapted well thanks to my teachers,” said Aleah. Aleah has passed her Ohio State Board of Cosmetology Exam and keeps her skills sharp by doing hair for all her family and many of her friends. Her ultimate goal is to one day own her own salon.

“The JVS is awesome,” said Aleah’s sister, Tiffanie, 17, who plans to enroll at Lorain County Community College in 2010 and afterward pursue her Bachelor’s degree and career as an intervention specialist.

“I’ve always loved being around kids and working with people. I want to be a role model,” said Tiffanie, who is currently involved with helping pre-school children prepare for kindergarten. “I’m learning so much, writing lesson plans, studying psychology and child behavior. The JVS is preparing me well. I’m really excited about my future.”

Which comes as no surprise to their father, Tad.

“I had such a good experience at the JVS. I knew my daughters were in good hands,” Clark said.
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