This post is part of Transform Consulting Group’s blog series highlighting federal programs that provide education opportunities and/or youth development services in communities.
Job Corps is a free education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. The program is designed to help low-income young people ages 16-24 gain experience needed for a career or higher education.
The Job Corps was initiated in 1964 under the Economic Opportunity Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson as a part of the war on poverty. Since then, the Job Corps has offered resources to young adults looking for meaningful careers. Last year, the Job Corps budget was $1,691,923,000.
Job Corps offers career planning, on-the-job training, job placement, residential housing, food service, driver’s education, health and dental care, and a basic living and clothing allowance. Students receive academic training that includes basic reading and math, college preparatory courses, and Limited English Proficiency courses. Other courses offered include independent living, employability skills, and social skills to help transition to the workforce. All of the 100+ occupational training programs are designed to meet the requirements and align with industry standards.
Some of the occupational training areas include:
- Automotive and machine repair
- Financial services
- Information technology
Job Corps students will be trained at one of 125 Job Corps centers around the country. (Click here to find a job center.) Job Corps centers are set up similar to college. Male and female students are separated and most students live at the center. Generally, each student will have anywhere from one to seven roommates. Some centers even offer childcare programs for single parents. All family members are encouraged to visit the students at the training centers.
Job Corps is a self-paced program. This means each student works at his or her own pace. Depending on the career path of a student, training can last from eight months to two years. Before graduation, a Job Corps staff member will work with each student to conduct a job search. Additionally, for six months following graduation, staff members will keep in contact with graduates for any follow-up support.