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The Big Picture

Published: November 19, 2009 | 12:38 PMARRA

As you know, Job Corps received $250 million in economic stimulus funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Working closely with the Secretary of Labor, the National Office of Job Corps developed a plan to use the funds to accomplish two main goals – 1) to create jobs and stimulate economic activity across the nation, and 2) to support the administration's priority of environmental stewardship.

How are we creating jobs and stimulating the economy?

Job Corps is allocating the majority of the Recovery Act funds to shovel-ready construction projects at more than 60 centers nationwide. These projects include the construction of the new center in Iowa and new facilities in Los Angeles, the construction of new dormitories on multiple centers, the additions of wind turbines and pellet boilers on several centers, and much more. The purpose of these much-needed projects is to create jobs for American workers and to make our program's facilities more sustainable. Several projects have already begun, including construction on the new center in Ottumwa, Iowa, and on three new dorms at the St. Louis Job Corps Center.

And how exactly are we promoting environmental stewardship?

With the help of Job Corps staff, students and contractors, we are well on our way to becoming more green. On Oct. 1, 2009, 76 new Training Achievement Records were launched as part of the program's Green Collar Training Initiative. Through this initiative, Job Corps has begun greening its Career Technical Training programs in three initial industries: Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive and Machine Repair, and Construction. Students who choose one or more of these career pathways are training in a variety of new subject areas, such as green materials and products, pollution prevention principles, hybrid and alternative vehicles, environmental awareness, green building requirements, and many others that will help prepare them for successful careers in the new green economy.

We are also acting as environmental stewards by changing our daily actions and incorporating more energy-efficient practices in our offices and on our centers. One example at the Finch-Henry Job Corps Center in Mississippi is the center's addition of a new recycling program and its transition to using energy-efficient light bulbs.

And this is just the beginning. Over the course of the next eight months, more and more ARRA-funded projects, special events (such as our Earth Day Every Day competition) and activities will be launching in the Job Corps community. And we want to hear about it. If you have news or updates about green happenings or other ARRA-funded initiatives on your center, please send information and pictures to OJC.ARRA@dol.gov. It is important that we share information with one another and communicate how Job Corps is doing its part to invest in America's economic recovery.

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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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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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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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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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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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