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by Kalamalama staff

Job Corps is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor and has facilities all over the United States, allowing individuals from various ethnic backgrounds to obtain jobs skills and education. Training and room and board are paid for.

The majority of those who attend Job Corps come from low income backgrounds and often have been exposed to drugs, alcohol, and violence within their families while growing up. Such factors have negatively impacted their education or work experience and prevented them from succeeding in their careers and becoming productive members of society. The main mission of Job Corps is to provide training that makes them more skillful, thus allowing them to become more marketable when it comes to applying for a job.

In order to do this, the organization provides health care services, counseling, and career development classes that prepare trainees for entry into the workplace. Considering that many trainees have had troubled childhoods, counseling services help heal some of the psychological scars that often generate internal conflict in everyday situations and translate into misbehaving in the workplace. Extracurricular activities such as sports and fieldtrips are offered to trainees. These allow them time to relax from work-and-training-related stress, prevents bordom, and keeps them busy.
Even though Job Corps’ mission is to merely provide training for the workplace, it understands that environmental and health-related issues can greatly impact job performance, so it also inculcates good hygiene habits. Part of the policy of Job Corps is that drugs and alcohol are not allowed on campus because the program is meant to represent a healthy environment that promotes individual development.

Preparation for entrance into the workplace after Job Corps is the main purpose of the program. For example, those individuals who live on the Job Corps site must wake up every morning at a designated time in order to be on time to their vocational or education-related classes.

Also, individuals must wear attire that is appropriate for their trade. These types of routines simulate what individuals need to do once they complete the Job Corps program and are in the workforce. Those who graduate from Job Corps find more opportunities available to them because they have completed a U.S. Department of Labor-approved program. In the end, both society and the trainee benefit.

Job Corps Residential Living employee Joseph Albert considers Job Corps to be a good opportunity for individuals who enter the program. Albert uses a metaphor to compare Job Corps training to building a boat and taking it to a destination around the other side of an island versus taking a plane to that destination to make the trip quicker. “Some individuals take the fast road,” he said. “They may not acquire much skill, but those who attend Job Corps build a foundation that helps them throughout life.”

For more information about the programs that Job Corps offers, e-mail through the Web site Jobcorps.Dol.Gov/centers/HI.com or call 259-6010.


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