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Vernon "The Swede" Hamlyn


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Vernon "The Swede" Hamlyn

KACC's Finest and Longest-Serving Support Staff Member of #TeamKACC

If you don't know "Swede," you're missing out!  

Swede Hamlyn joined the Kankakee Area Career Center back in August of 1993.  He originally began working as a school bus driver - who we shared with BBCHS.  It all started when Swede's dog got on the bus and nobody could get him off. "That's when Bill Brierly asked me if I would like to drive a bus because they are going to create a job for a bus driver."  We're all glad Swede's dog liked the bus!

In fact, all these years later, Swede continues to occasionally drive for BBCHS.  Mike Stone, BBCHS Transportation Director, stated "The thing I love about Swede is that he is always willing to do whatever I ask with his 'Can do' attitude.  For example, I called him up just this morning to take Baseball students to Andrew High School at 3:15 p.m. and Swede didn't even hesitate before he gave me a hearty, 'Yes - I'll go!'" 

Swede does way more around KACC than being a wonderful bus driver, whether taking C.N.A. Students to the Veteran's Home or Construction Technology students to the KACC home site lots while the house is under construction.  He also takes exceptional care of our grounds around school.  If you drive down Career Center Road, you'll oftentimes see Swede cutting the grass, trimming the hedges and generally making the esthetics of our property looking great.  KACC Director, Matt Kelley said of Swede (aka "Colonel) "Swede is always self-motivated, see's what needs to be done and always shows up with a friendly smile and happy disposition.  He gets along with absolutely everyone and always has a joke to share.  I'm grateful for all he does and for his friendship."


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Swede is always doing something to improve the grounds.

According to Swede, he got started with the grounds-keeping duties because "Big Mike (Michael Paquette) was doing nine jobs.  I saw him outside trying to cut the lawn with an old brush hog.  From that day on, I took over.  He had enough to do." Swede says he likes "working with people who are down-to-earth and, well, it's right across the street."

Prior to coming to KACC, he, his father and brother had a farming business, right across the street from KACC.  He and his lovely wife, Betty, continue to reside on Career Center Road all these years later.  Their family home site is where they raised their three children, Bryan Hamlyn, Beth Seither and Kathy Yonke. 

Swede is also retired from Ford Motor Company, where he worked for 35 years.  He is Veteran and was a member of the Pistol Team US Army - Japan.  

Thanks Swede, for all you do around and for the Kankakee Area Career Center.

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Kankakee Area Career Center4083 N 1000 W Road

PO Box 570Bourbonnais, IL 60914

815-939-4971Fax: 815-939-7598

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