Center News

Events, stories & announcements

Job Corps and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Published: March 12, 2010 | 11:47 AMARRA

  • $211 million has been allocated to more than 800 shovel-ready construction projects, including three new dorms at the St. Louis Job Corps Center, one new dorm at Jacobs Creek Job Corps Center, the construction of the new Ottumwa Job Corps Center, and approximately 16 solar, wind and pellet technology on centers such as the Westover Job Corps Center and the North Texas Job Corps Center.
  • Construction projects have commenced on more than 65 centers, helping to create and retain jobs.
  • More than 100,000 Job Corps students across the U.S. have been given the opportunity to participate in ARRA-funded activities, including Green Training initiatives, rehabilitation projects, and center-wide green practices.
  • $2,230,256 has been distributed to centers for more than 196 Green Supplemental CTST projects, such as organic gardens, solar panels, wind turbines, and greenhouses that allow students additional experience and green training.
  • More than $9 million has been spent on realigning 76 Training Achievement Records, which are providing students with hands-on training in green skills that will prepare them for jobs in the new green economy.
  • Approximately $7.8 million has been used to replace older, less energy-efficient computers with 11,028 new PCs, which meet Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) requirements and are compliant with the Energy Star and EPEAT requirements.
  • $5 million has been allocated for the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles at 97 Job Corps centers to replace gasoline-based fleet vehicles and to be used as student training aids.
  • Nineteen awards have been presented to centers for going above and beyond in their efforts to reduce energy and water usage and for implementing other green initiatives on campus, such as recycling programs and green committees.
  • Six Earth Day Every Day campaign posters have been used to promote environmental awareness and utility conservation, to encourage students and staff members to get excited about celebrating Earth Day, and to reinforce the messages of the Earth Day Every Day initiative. These posters should now be displayed in centers nationwide.
  • Ten ARRA Toolkit materials for recruitment and outreach efforts have been created for OA, BCL and CTS use, including one-pagers, PowerPoint presentations, and template letters.
  • More than 100 photos have been submitted through GreenSnap.org to help capture the green efforts of centers nationwide.
  • Twenty-four ARRA-related Webinars have been held to share information on green training, center operations, EDED and the ARRA Toolkit.
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ARRA – A Year in Review

Published: December 21, 2010 | 10:34 AM

As 2011 approaches, we'd like to take a look back at all we've accomplished this past year. The following list gives a glimpse into Job Corps' ARRA funds at work.

  • More than 100,000 Job Corps students across the United States have been given the opportunity to participate in ARRA-funded activities, including Green Training initiatives, rehabilitation projects, and center-wide green practices.
  • $212 million was allocated to more than 1,000 shovel-ready construction projects at more than 60 centers.
  • Approximately 16 solar and wind technology projects have been implemented at centers nationwide.
  • $5 million was allocated for the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles at 97 Job Corps centers.
  • Approximately $7.8 million has been used to replace older, less energy-efficient computers with 11,028 new Energy Star PCs.
  • Construction projects have commenced on more than 68 centers.
  • Eight students from the Muhlenberg Job Corps Center traveled to Washington, D.C., to receive the Job Corps National Earth Day Every Day Green Center Recognition Award. The Muhlenberg center was selected as the winner of this award for its outstanding efforts in energy conservation, water conservation, installation of energy-efficient materials, EDED proposals, and green career technical student training projects.
  • Oneonta Job Corps Center officially opened a greenhouse complex on Oct. 28.
  • Muhlenburg Job Corps Center celebrated the completion of a new gymnasium on Oct. 26 with a ribbon-cutting.
  • 3 new dorms are being built at the St. Louis Job Corps Center. Several other new dorm projects are under way.
  • Substantial progress has been made on the construction of the new Ottumwa Job Corps Center as it gets ready to open next year.
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Judge Sergio A. Gutierrez

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:12 PM

Job Corps' motto is "Success Lasts a Lifetime" and nowhere is this more evident than in the story of Idaho Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sergio Gutierrez, who received his GED and studied carpentry at the Wolf Creek Job Corps Center in the early 1970s.

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Sergio crossed the border with his family and settled in Stockton, California. His father struggled to make ends meet for his six children on field workers’ wages and his mother suffered from crippling mental illness. To ease their burden, Sergio, then four years old, and one of his sisters moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico, to live with their loving grandmother in a leaky, hole-covered house that he remembers as barely habitable. Despite this poverty and hardship, Sergio was inspired by his grandmother’s wisdom and promised her that he would make something of himself.

When Gutierrez was 12, his beloved grandmother died, and he moved back to Stockton with his mother, his farm worker stepfather, and 12 other siblings. Scraping by in these conditions proved to be too much for the young man. He dropped out of high school after finishing 9th grade and fell in with a crowd of older boys that he admits were hoodlums.

Often homeless and frustrated with barely getting by on menial jobs, Sergio went to an employment office where he met a woman who recommended the Job Corps program to him. Resolving to fulfill his promise to his grandmother, he enrolled that day. This was when his new life began.

At 16, Sergio began attending the Wolf Creek Job Corps Center in Oregon. The structure, support, and serenity of the center "gave me an affirmation that I could do something with my life." Sergio quickly became a leader among the students and graduated with carpentry skills and a GED.

Transformed by his experiences at Wolf Creek, Sergio went on to earn both an undergraduate and a law degree, practiced law, and was appointed to the Idaho Court of Appeals in 2002.

Judge Gutierrez attributes his success to the Job Corps program. "I was not going down the right path, and the program literally saved my life," he said. “My life turned around when I enrolled in the Wolf Creek Job Corp Center in Glide, Oregon. Job Corps saved my life. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boise State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings Law School. But I am most proud of the GED that I attained at Wolf Creek because it represented a new start in my life.”

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Monique Williams Jordan

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:11 PM

With a pinch of passion, a sprinkle of creativity and a generous amount of determination, "Chef Moe," Monique Williams, has turned her culinary aspirations into a recipe for success.

Her journey began as a culinary arts student at Woodstock Job Corps Center in Maryland - the same school where she landed her first job. After several years of teaching and inspiring other young chefs, Williams became the first former Job Corps student to become an advanced instructor at Anne Arundel Community College’s hands-on culinary program.

Chef Moe was recognized during the 45th Anniversary of Job Corps celebration and later joined her Woodland Job Corps Center culinary students to cook with Chef Robert Irvine from the Food Network show Dinner: Impossible. "The opportunity to make a life-changing difference in the lives of other young people is very special to me, and I will forever be grateful to Job Corps for giving me that," said Williams.

Chef Moe’s work in the kitchen is truly inspired, but it’s her gift for inspiring others to achieve independence and success, no matter where they come from, that has the power to change the world. We can’t wait to see what she cooks up next.

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New Ottumwa Job Corps Center

Published: November 22, 2010 | 10:43 AMARRA

The construction of the new Job Corps center in Ottumwa, Iowa, has had a tremendous economic impact on the local community. The $24 million project is creating jobs for residents in two capacities – through the 135 jobs for the construction of the facility, and the 130 permanent staff positions needed to operate the center when it opens next year. With the Ottumwa unemployment rate currently at eight percent, this project is vital to the growth of the city's economy.

“Because of the construction of the Ottumwa Job Corps Center, we've been able to keep people employed who otherwise would have been laid off,” said Grant Grooms of Grooms & Co. Construction. “We were even able to hire additional workers for the project.”

The impact of the new center on the local economy is substantial, but just as important are the green design elements of the building, which are expected to yield up to $250,000 in utility rebates. The LEED-based design has eight buildings, including student dormitories, academic buildings, administration buildings, a student recreation center/gymnasium, and much more.

Green aspects of the buildings include geothermal heating, energy-efficient lighting in all buildings, roof and wall insulation systems, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. In addition, construction staff are recycling materials on-site and using an online submittal exchange program, which tracks the progression of the project through a paperless system.

Once completed, the center will house approximately 300 students and offer career training in advanced manufacturing, information technology, heavy equipment operations, and health care. Students will study green practices and train on the latest green technology and equipment. Ottumwa students who meet certain criteria will also have the opportunity to participate in a partnership with nearby Indian Hills Community College to advance their education and training in certain areas.

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Job Corps’ ARRA Funds

Published: October 05, 2010 | 10:53 AMARRA

More than 100 jobs will be created in the Ottumwa, Iowa, community when Job Corps’ newest center opens in 2011. Hundreds more have been hired during the construction phase.

Randy Houk, a Grooms & Company Construction employee, had been laid off by his previous employer and was out of work before getting hired by Grooms to work on the construction of the Ottumwa Job Corps Center.

“Iowa Job Corps got me a job, and will hopefully result in a future job with this company,” Houk says. “I’ve been working since last October, and I’m proud of the job we’re doing.”

The Ottumwa Job Corps Center will continue to be a leading job source in the community long after the construction is complete. The center will look to the community to find qualified instructors, administrative staff, and maintenance workers. Local businesses will also benefit from the center’s presence in the community when graduates prepare to enter the workforce.

The construction of the Ottumwa Job Corps Center is just one example of the impact that Job Corps projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are having on the economy. Across the nation, Job Corps center construction projects and green career training opportunities are helping local workers and students find employment.

The St. Louis Job Corps Center, like Ottumwa, has employed numerous local companies in the construction of three new dormitories on the campus. Students from Hubert H. Humphrey and Earle C. Clements Job Corps Centers have been hired for full-time positions because of the training they received at Job Corps.

At the Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center, construction on center, including a new female dormitory and numerous renovation projects, has put more than 19 local contractors and subcontractors to work. John Brondsena, project superintendent for Nevilles Electric Service, is one of many workers experiencing the positive impact that this project has afforded the Grand Rapids community. “If it weren’t for this job, I would have been out of work for the next 18 months,” Brondsena said.

The Ford project also led the general contractor to form a work-based learning partnership with the center, so Construction students are able to receive hands-on training in a variety of tasks. The quality of work and level of dedication shown by the students training with the construction contractors has helped lead to several employment opportunities.

Following graduation from Job Corps, several students were hired by Nevilles to continue working on the center construction project. Carpentry graduate Jamell West was planning to return to his hometown of Detroit but chose to stay in Grand Rapids when Nevilles offered him a job. “I knew nothing about carpentry before I came to Job Corps,” West said. “The center taught me the skills that I use every day at work.”

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Job Corps ARRA-Funded Projects Stimulate Local Economies

Published: May 11, 2010 | 10:14 AMARRA

Funding for a new dormitory construction project at Columbia Basin Job Corps Center, in Moses Lake, Wash., came at an opportune time for the center and local contractors. The $7.3 million project, expected to be complete in May, has helped save jobs for local companies.

“All the subcontractors we hired for this project are local to the Washington area,” said Bill Dieter, a project director for general contractor Au Authum Ki, Inc. “Based on their eagerness to get started and get to work, the different subcontractors may not necessarily have had to hire people; but they’ve got people on their payroll that they want to keep employed and keep working.”

Several hundred miles across the country, in Ottumwa, Iowa, construction on the new Ottumwa Job Corps Center has pumped more than $24 million into the local economy. More than 100 jobs will be created in the Ottumwa community when Job Corps’ newest center opens in 2011. Hundreds more were supported during the construction phase.

Randy Houk had been laid off by his previous employer and was out of work before being hired by Grooms & Company Construction to work on the Ottumwa Job Corps Center.

“The Ottumwa Job Corps Center got me a job, which hopefully will result in a future job with this company,” Houk said in a July 2010 interview. “I’ve been working since last October, and I’m proud of the job we’re doing.”

The Ottumwa Job Corps Center will continue to be a leading economic engine in the community long after the construction is complete. Staff salaries, equipment, and supplies will inject about $8 million into the local economy annually. Center graduates will also be a source of trained employees for local businesses and industries.

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Ottumwa Center Construction Update

Published: December 17, 2009 | 1:52 PMARRA

The new Job Corps center in Ottumwa, Iowa, is one of the first Job Corps construction project funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and is an example of how Job Corps is using the funds to stimulate local economies and promote environmental stewardship. 

Construction of the Ottumwa center will have an economic impact of $23 million to southeast Iowa for the small businesses involved in the construction of the project. Once the center is opened, Job Corps will bring approximately 130 more jobs to the region, providing $8.4 million in salaries annually to the local economy. 

Scheduled for completion in late 2010, the center will incorporate geothermal heating and cooling systems, green roof design, water conservation devices, and EnergyStar equipment. Job Corps will receive almost $250,000 in energy rebates from the energy-saving features in each of the center's eight buildings. This campus is projected to be the first Job Corps center in the United States to qualify for the EnergyStar rating. 

The Ottumwa Job Corps Center will house 300 students in on-campus dormitories once construction is complete. Students at the center will be able to choose from career technical training in health care, transportation, information technology and manufacturing programs. 

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Troy Carter

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:09 PM

Like many Job Corps graduates, Troy Carter began his life in a low-income neighborhood with nothing but a dream of music industry success and a drive to make it happen. After struggling to balance his education with a budding music career, Carter enrolled in the former Chesapeake Job Corps Center in Port Deposit, Maryland in 1990.

Carter quickly graduated from Job Corps with a GED. Saying the program "helped me experience independence for the first time,” Carter applied his new skills and perspective with renewed focus to his music industry ambitions.

Today he is the CEO of Coalition Media Group, a successful Beverly Hills, California, artist management and digital marketing company. He has worked closely with superstars like Sean "Diddy" Combs, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Will Smith, Eve, Nelly, and Lady Gaga.

Carter says America needs institutions like Job Corps because building leaders "starts in school" with students who "don’t stop dreaming and work hard.” He is living proof that, if just given the opportunity, tomorrow’s leader could be anyone, even an ambitious young dreamer from West Philadelphia.

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