Center News

Events, stories & announcements

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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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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North Texas Job Corps Center

Published: March 29, 2010 | 3:43 PMCAREER TRAINING

Not too far from Tulsa, at the North Texas Job Corps Center, students are also busy practicing their green training skills on a project to improve four career technical training buildings. More than 40 students in six construction training areas are working together to completely renovate the center's electrical, concrete masonry, and brick masonry training buildings.

"Receiving a portion of Job Corps' ARRA funds for this renovation was a win-win situation for our center," said North Texas Career Technical Skills Training Coordinator Paul Dawson. "Not only will we have more sustainable facilities that will cut our center's energy usage by at least 30 percent, but our students are receiving valuable, hands-on green training experience as they work on different aspects of the four buildings."

Each construction training area is responsible for the following renovation projects:

  • Facilities Maintenance – students are installing attic exhaust fans for each building to keep them cool and conserve energy.
  • Carpentry – students are installing attic insulation and preparing classroom and office walls for wainscoting and installation upgrades.
  • Painting – students are applying radiant barrier paint to the inside of the attic roof and the exterior of the buildings, which will insulate the buildings from the radiant heat of the sun and lower the center's energy bills.
  • Electrical – students are redirecting wire and adding a new split-phase electricity distribution system for the buildings' new energy-efficient HVAC systems.
  • Cement Masonry – students are pouring concrete platforms for each new HVAC unit.
  • Bricklaying – students are replacing each building's old window air-conditioning units with brick.
  • Plumbing – students are installing energy-efficient water heaters and water-control flush valves in the bathrooms to conserve water.
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Non-Traditional Opportunities for Women

Published: September 09, 2010 | 10:57 AMCAREER TRAINING

According to recent reports, the U.S. energy industry will need to replace 50 percent of its skilled technicians and 40 percent of its engineer and line workers in the coming years because of its aging workforce. At the same time, in the construction trades, employers are faced with re-training many of their employees so that their work meets both state and federal environmental requirements.

In the automotive industry, both manufacturers and mechanics need a different set of skills than were required of their colleagues a generation ago. Today, hybrid vehicles contain more than seven miles of wiring. Workers in the automotive industry need to understand, not only the mechanical operations of cars but also the electronic components of their operations and how computers control their operations.

Of course, many of these high-growth and in-demand opportunities are in fields that are considered “non-traditional” for women. Not at Job Corps.

In our training, neither our instructors nor our students pay attention to “traditions.” At Job Corps, we are focused on student success, on qualified employees, and on tearing down those “traditional” barriers.

Every day, more women are enrolling in career training areas such as Automobile Technician, Carpentry, Facilities Maintenance, Painting, and Welding. These career areas are no longer considered “male-only” industries, and females at centers across the country are taking advantage of Job Corps’ green training opportunities and the career options these fields have to offer.

At the Edison Job Corps Academy, in Edison, N.J., Amanda Wu is learning about LEED certification requirements in her Carpentry career training area and building the skill set and knowledge base necessary to accomplish work according to building codes, while keeping costs down for her employer.

At the North Texas Job Corps Center in McKinney, Texas, Mary Belle Ramirez, one of the center’s first green graduates, received the training and education she needed in her Electrical career training area to start a successful career after graduation. Mary Belle is now working with Primary Integration in Dallas, where one of her current projects is installing carbon dioxide monitors in local school classrooms.

Kiara Kemp, a female Carpentry training student at the Shreveport Job Corps Center in Shreveport, La., has enjoyed learning about appropriate waste management, site protection, and using alternative materials that are safer for the environment. “The construction industry is very focused on sustainability right now,” said Kiara. “If I want to have a successful career as a carpenter, I had better know all about the latest in green construction and what it takes to minimize the environmental impact of a building or house.”

These are just three examples of the many women in Job Corps who are training or have received the training necessary to be leaders in America’s workforce. They are leaders who are responding to the consumers’ and employers’ needs concerning the environmental requirements on the job, and they are leaders in the effort to establish new traditions that are based on qualifications for the job.

At Job Corps, we are focused on opportunities for success, and through ARRA, we have established training that gives our graduates, male and female, the skills they need to get better jobs in the new, green economy.

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Earth Day Every Day Demand-side Management Winners

Published: January 27, 2010 | 12:10 PMARRA

With so many centers working diligently nationwide to implement green programs and initiatives on campus, picking our first round of Earth Day Every Day (EDED) Demand-side Management Award winners was a difficult task. The two centers from each Region listed below were chosen for going above and beyond in their efforts to recycle, reduce waste, and cut back on water and energy usage. The Regional Offices will be accepting applications for the second round of Demand-side Management Awards soon. To be considered in this round, your center must submit a completed application (Instruction Notice 08-48) to your respective Regional Office no later than COB, March 31. Winners will be announced in April. Centers can also be nominated for EDED Center Recognition Awards. Applications are due to the Regional Office by Jan. 31, with the National Office making the regional selections by Feb. 17.

Boston Region Winners:

The Iroquois Job Corps Center implemented initiatives to save approximately 368,000 gallons of water per year by replacing showerheads and toilets with water-saving devices and cut electricity and gas costs by switching out old light bulbs with more energy-efficient bulbs. The center also created "Project Green Thumb," a Student Government Association-run recycling program for cans and bottles.

The Ramey Job Corps Center reduced its electricity costs by 13 percent last year. The center achieved this goal by closely monitoring energy usage on center and implementing new conservation measures, such as regulating thermostat settings to reduce cooling costs, turning off lights, installing new Energy Star equipment and water-saving devices, and recycling. The center also implemented xeriscaping by planting native plants to reduce the impact on the environment and installed three solar-lighting systems in its gazebo area.

Philadelphia Region Winners:

The Keystone Job Corps Center reduced its energy usage by almost 10 percent over the last year, despite an increase in its number of students. The center achieved these goals by installing solar panels and smart meters and by working closely with the local water authority to monitor water consumption on campus.

The Woodland Job Corps Center installed 27 solar panels, becoming the first to offer solar-panel installation training through a partnership with Anne Arundel Community College and the Chesapeake chapter of Independent Electrical Contractors. More than 75 Job Corps students participated in the program last year and are positioned to find sustainable employment opportunities in the green industry.

Atlanta Region Winners:

The Finch-Henry Job Corps Center (Batesville Job Corps Center) saved 231,300 gallons of water over a three-month period last year and implemented energy-efficiency measures that included purchasing Energy Star products and replacing light bulbs. The center also held a "Green Day," inviting a local university’s professors to speak to students and staff on best green practices, and created a "Green Committee" to lead conservation efforts on campus. Future plans include building a greenhouse on campus.

The Gadsden Job Corps Center started a recycling program that is expected to save 2,600 pounds of solid waste a year, replaced light bulbs on campus for a projected savings of 10,400 kilowatts of energy per year, and appointed a "green" officer on its SGA to spearhead conservation efforts on center. The center also purchased new Energy Star copiers, front-loading washers and dryers, and green office supplies.

Dallas Region Winners:

The North Texas Job Corps Center reduced its gas usage by 10 percent and its water usage by 30 percent over the last year. A committee of staff and students has also implemented a recycling program, placing recycling bins in all dorms, classrooms and other buildings on campus.

The Tulsa Job Corps Center cut its energy consumption by 3 percent, reduced water usage by 10 percent and implemented The Waste Paper Recycling Program, which kept 4.39 tons of paper out of the local landfills in 2009 through daily recycling. The center achieved these goals by installing motion detectors on lights, faucets, and toilets, replacing light bulbs, and using recycle boxes across campus to save paper.

Chicago Region Winners:

The Dayton Job Corps Center saved $9,392 by reducing the center’s energy consumption by 111,600 kilowatts during the past 11 months. The center has also implemented a Team Dayton Energy Efficient Program to encourage energy savings on campus, organized a recycling program and installed a more energy-efficient boiler system in the main building.

The Denison Job Corps Center implemented the "Be a Green Hero and Not a Green Zero" campaign to encourage staff and students to reduce, reuse and recycle. The campaign has led to a 15.6 percent decrease in water usage and a 14.5 percent reduction in electricity usage and to recycling approximately 8,280 pounds of material each quarter.

San Francisco Region Winners:

The Alaska Job Corps Center reduced its energy usage by 12.7 percent, cut back on waste, and installed motion-detector lights and energy-efficient boilers. The center also decreased its water consumption by 9.4 percent by using low-flow showerheads and reusing available water through rain gutters and rain collection devices.

The Sacramento Job Corps Center decreased its energy consumption by installing thermostat locks, purchasing drought-tolerant plants, implementing drip irrigation system timers, weather-stripping doors, and installing automatic flushing mechanisms and motion-detector lights.

Congratulations to our first round of EDED Demand-side Management Award winners and to all centers for their green efforts over the past few months. Keep up the good work, and check back soon for updates on our next round of winners.

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Earth Day Every Day 

Published: January 07, 2010 | 2:04 PMARRA

Twelve centers have been awarded the first round Demand-side Management Awards, which are a part of Job Corps' Earth Day Every Day (EDED) initiatives. Congratulations to the winners! They are: 

  • Boston Region – Ramey and Iroquois Job Corps 
  • Philadelphia Region – Woodland and Keystone Job Corps 
  • Atlanta Region – Finch Henry (Batesville) and Gadsden Job Corps 
  • Dallas Region – North Texas and Tulsa Job Corps 
  • Chicago Region – Dayton and Denison Job Corps 
  • San Francisco Region – Alaska and Sacramento Job Corps 

The next EDED award deadline is January 31. Please remember to deliver submissions for the Center Recognition Award to your Regional Office by this date. For more information about this particular award, please refer to Information Notice 08-48. 

In other Earth Day Every Day-related news, please be on the lookout soon for the release of an EDED programming guide. This guide will provide an activity schedule for the entire EDED Week (April 12-22). Stay tuned for more information regarding this guide and other exciting EDED plans. 

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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 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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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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