By Kaitlin Fleming, Staff Correspondent
The Gadsden Job Corps was founded by a federal program that began in 1964. Job Corps is a no-cost education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 improve the quality of their lives through vocational and academic training. There are 126 centers nationwide.
Job Corps has been training young adults for meaningful careers since it was funded by congress in 1964. Job Corps is committed to offering all students a safe, drug-free environment where they can take advantage of the resources provided. Currently, the Gadsden campus is searching for women ages 16 through 24 to participate in the program, but they are also accepting young men.
Job Corps offers many options for their candidates including career training and furthering education. Some of the career training courses offered are carpentry, welding, automotive and machine repair, construction, finance and business, healthcare, computer technician, retail sales, transportation, culinary arts, hotel and lodging, nurse assistant or home health aids, office administration and security and protective services.
Apart from career training classes, Job Corps also offers educational classes in math, reading, writing, science and social studies. Job
Corps will also help students receive their high school diploma or GED and help them continue their educational pursuits at Gadsden State Community College or elsewhere.
Job Corps also offers housing, meals and basic medical care for their students as well as career counseling and leadership opportunities, all in a safe and drug free environment.
Brenda Miller has been with Job Corps for more than 13 years, she is an admissions counselor.
“We try to find candidates that will apply themselves,” said Miller.
Job Corps teaches their students employable skills, but first the students must apply, take a placement test and pass a drug test.
There are about 260 students housed on campus and even more students participate who do not live on campus. There are meals, hot snacks, TV lobbies, washers and dryers and much more.
There are campus tours available every Monday at 10 a.m. and orientation classes available every Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Apart from the wonderful skills that the students learn, they are given $500 when they begin their trade and $500 upon completion.
There is an open house scheduled for September 21, 2016.
After students finish their training, they are expected to secure jobs in their field and stay in touch with their CTS (Career Transition
Specialist) for a year after graduation.
Servetrius Booker is a CTS at Job Corps and has been a part of Job Corps for almost 10 years.
“I enjoy what I do,” said Booker. “You form a connection and a bond and you help the students realize that they are important.”
Ms. Booker is responsible to communicate with employers and make sure her students meet the requirement for certain jobs and she helps them get to job interviews and fill out application.
“Motivated students get the jobs,” said Booker.
Apart from finding jobs, students also have to find transportation and housing after graduation. Ms. Booker helps the students research their options as well as teaching them about insurance, finances, budgeting and personal growth. Local banks come in and teach finance classes.
“We ask that students come in with an open mind and are willing to receive and follow instruction,” said Ms. Booker.
If you, or someone you know could benefit from a program like Job Corps then visit their website at gadsden.jobcorps.gov. For admissions counseling contact Brenda Miller at 256-527-5027 or come by their new facility at 750 Walnut Street, Gadsden.