Job Corps: Pros and Cons


The following thread from a newspaper article out of Red Bluff, CA about the Job Corps expresses both positive and negative views about the federally funded Job Corps program. Job Corps is free to qualified applicants(commonly kids from financially challenged families) and is a much BETTER option than a for profit school like ITT TECH that leaves you with a mountain of debt and NO JOB. Also if you get a good job at a young age due to your training at Job Corps, you will not have to borrow money at high interest rates from loan sharks and be in debt for much of your life.

 The Job Corps is run by the Department of Labor and is for 16-24 year olds who are not necessarily college material and who may come from poverty. The Job Corps education is free of charge and primarily vocational in nature with the possibility of a High School Diploma or GED. Job Corp students get paid cash every two weeks with a sizable cash graduation bonus!  Finally after a Job Corps grad finds employment, they will be awarded a bonus of over $1000 if they hang on to the job for 6 months. As a former employer of electronic technicians,

I would take a Job Corps graduate hands down over a graduate of one of those for profit schools like ITT Tech or AIU. UTI is probably the best for profit school.  Mechanics who graduate from UTI command very competitive salaries.

Job Corps also helps its graduates out with respect to job opportunities and offers single parent students childcare help in some locations. Dental and health benefits are provided and the academic / vocational education is self-paced. The self-paced nature of the training for a trade is the answer to the question: “How long does it take to get trained for a trade?”. If you have a fire in your belly to learn a trade, get hired, and make some money, you can be finished with your Job Corps training in much less than a year!

To rear a child is tough enough even with some two income families. Job Corps is residential which means your child will live on the Job Corps campus and be fed and protected while learning a vocation and perhaps  earning a High School Diploma. 

This is not to say that all job corps are a walk in the park. Just like many other United States Schools, there have been multiple outbreaks of violence like this report of racial unrest at the Roswell, NM Job Corps.

wattsup wrote:
This place sounds horrible! Any parent who would send their child to a place like this cannot care about their child. It sounds like a prison…but with less security. Why would you send your kid to a place you know is filled with bad and dangerous people? Geez! Why don’t you just drop them off in the worst ghetto in the country and let them fight their way out? Maybe if you would have set up a college fund for your kid like parents are supposed to do you wouldn’t have to leave them in a place full of thugs to be raped, stolen from and beaten!
Well, wattsup, Firstly, I am typing this very message from a Job Corps computer and I can tell you this much. The vast majority of people here complain about things that they should be grateful for. Secondly, My mother cares very much for me, but I sent myself here. There are many here that are like that. Most of us are adults that made the choice to be here.
Thirdly,[QUOTE who=wattsup] Maybe if you would have set up a college fund for your kid like parents are supposed to do you wouldn’t have to leave them in a place full of thugs to be raped, stolen from and beaten![/QUOTE]
Really now? My first comment on that is that not all parents came are from the middle class. I personally am far below the national poverty line. We couldn’t afford college. Most people here couldn’t. You cannot judge the parents, whose intentions are none but good–wanting to see improvement and change–for sending them to a dangerous place (or even not being able to afford college). Who’s to say that the danger and the new experiences are all a bad thing for the person immersed in them.
There are stupid people everywhere. You will not do your child any good if you cloister them away them from this. I haven’t once been stolen from, beaten, or raped. In fact, none of those things would happen if people stick with groups they trust and mind their own business, which I do.
I came here (to Job Corps) for two purposes, to get a trade and become independent. The comment that “Any parent who would send their child to a place like this cannot care about their child” was shallow, malinformed and naive. Remember, you’re talking about a place that gives people like me– who flunked out of college due to laziness, couldn’t find a job anywhere, and whose life was about to go down the toilet–a chance to become a cratsman (and a well-paid craftsman). I have no complaints for such a place.


66 comments on “Job Corps: Pros and ConsAdd yours →

  1. Wattsup is definitely overreacting about the conditions at the Job Corps in Red Bluff, California. Sure there are some problems, but we know about some kids who have made it through the program and found decent job. Another thing……You have no debt when you get out of Job Corps. Any parent should love the sound of that! Also even places like Yale and Harvard have campus crime. Every institution is required to publish crime statistics. Students get drunk and horny every so often….its gonna happen anywhere you have young females and males near each other!

    We do not have children, but would have considered sending them to Job Corps.

    If you send your child or young adult to a place like ITT Tech, Carrington College, or AIU you will have to work a couple of years just to pay off those blood sucking for profit schools!

    1. I agree with you posting power that Wattsup is being way too dramatic about the “horrible conditions at Job Corps” The following excerpt of a post from ripoff Report talks about how a girl was bullied and exploited at the Pittsburg Job Corps:
      Last week she took the 3 1/2 hour bus trip to the Pittsburg center; and it was an event she’ll never forget. Once she walked in, she was instantly pushed around and heavily picked on by the other students. This is to be expected when surrounded by “unstable” 16-18 year olds; but then the abuse took a turn for the worse. That night she saw kids with plenty of drugs, and a brutal fight in the hall of her dorm over a pair of shorts. Her second day there, she was in line for lunch and was pushed away; students told her she was to fat, and should join at fat farm instead. When she tried to get back in line, 6 students, males and females pushed her and told her they were going to push her into a room with no security camera and beat the hell out of her.

      Who knows how true this story is? There is probably much more to it than the mother wrote. I know the Roswell Job Corps protects its female students and all the students are usually very safe. Assaults happen everywhere. You can not expect the Job Corps to be safer than what the average American faces when they go out every day! Most of the kids that are at the Job Corps are in a safer environment than the broken families they came from. In fact, during summer and Xmas break many of the Roswell, New Mexico Job corps students prefer to stay at the COI managed Job Corps Center because they feel it is safer and more drug free than the dysfunctional family life they are accustomed to! Females are as protected at Job Corps as they would be anywhere else.

  2. From what I can tell Job Corps is a very good thing helping a lot of kids to find decent jobs basically for free! A good deal for parents and their children. Lets face it, the parents view of the job corps might be the most decisive factor in enrolling or not. A parent has a much more mature and informed perspective on whether their young adult is “college material”

    A friend was one of the 600 JCPenney workers that got laid off in Plano and she found employment at the Job Corps. She says the kids kind of grow on you there and she gets involved in their lives and roots for them to find a good job. They come from families that a lot of arrogant pricks refer to as white trash, but they are good reliable kiddos and often a lot more intelligent than the spoiled brats that come from some of the rich families in Plano.

    1. There is a lot of talk about a nationwide shut down of job corps. Nothing could be further from the truth. Because of mismanagement at the federal and job corps center level (Del-Jen in Gainesville who lost contract to ResCare), there will be a 21% reduction at both the staff and student level. As of this writing not a single one of the United State’s 120 Job Corps centers will close, but employees are being asked to document their value as an advocate to the Job Corps mission and intake(new students) is limited for the time being.

  3. Many Job Corps students complain about having to clean the toilet. There are bathrooms on each of the floors of the male and female dormitories. Individual rooms are not equipped with commodes or showers. The kids who are bitching about having to clean toilets should see if they can do better than getting a free education at Job Corps! Many of the kids who enroll in the Job Corps come from impoverished and destitute family lives. You should appreciate that government hand out that kept you out of the streets and on the path to a career and the ability to live independently which is what Job Corps promises in their mission statement for those who are willing to work and not complain and bitch!

  4. Most Job Corps pay their students around $35 every two weeks. Some parents send their kids extra money via moneygram at Walmart since there is a Walmart in every Job Corps town I believe. Also it is important for parents and students to know that the girls can NOT visit the boys dormitory and the boys can NOT sneak over to the girls dorm. This is closely monitored with possible suspension as punishment if caught.

  5. Many want to know the answer to the question “can you live off campus at job corps if you are under 18?”
    The answer is yes provided your parents or legal guardian consent or sign off and can verify and provide transportation to and from Job Corps. There are other restrictions and considerations, but in general you can live away from the school if you are a minor or under the age of 18

    1. Related is “Do your parents or guardians have to sign off or authorize your enrollment in job corps if you are 18 or older?”
      The answer is no but job corps prefer having parents as primary contact no matter the student’s age.

      1. The requirements needed if a relative is registering your child for job corps are the same. They will want to verify parent or legal guardian income and any criminal history of the applicant. Registration process is about obtaining information. A relative being involved really has no influence on whether your child gets enrolled or not.

  6. A lot of parents out there are interested in the question, Do parents pay for job corps when judge sent kid there?
    If family qualifies under the low-income criterion and a few other things, then Job Corps is essentially FREE provided your little rug rat did not rob a bank, traffic drugs, or run a prostitution ring 🙂

  7. Job corps does pay you in cash when you are finished or graduate. If you Have a job when you graduate, then you get paid about twice as much as Graduates who do not have jobs.

  8. “are you allowed to have a cell phone in job corp ?” This a very common question by parents and potential job corps students. The answer is yes, you can use your smart phone at job corps provided you do not interrupt class or training sessions with ringing cell phones.

  9. Yes, you can switch job corps. I transferred to the Treasure Island Job Corps in San Francisco from NYC. I had to go through whole process again, but it helped I had already been signed up before. One of the residential advisors really loves his job and helps newbies get used to everything. Being gay is no big deal.

      1. I know that Centennial Job Corps is somewhat trans friendly. The state of Idaho is NOT generally. Most of the staff members are understanding of the sensitivity my situation and try to avoid gender specific comments. I have four roommates who are women. They are a little stiff and uptight sometimes, but respect my choice to be a woman.

        There is a rule that states “female” students MUST wear a bra during the training day and that it may not be a sports bra. None of the staff attempt enforce this law. I wear a binder most of the time and the only people who comment on it are people who recognize the flat look and mention it to me, primarily trans peeps and lesbians.

        1. YES! I was hoping that rule wouldn’t be enforced, so if it wasn’t at Centennial, then it probably won’t be at Pittsburgh either. I have small breasts and generally find bras to be an uncomfortable nuisance, more trouble than they’re worth unless I’m doing a high impact activity or particulary want light padding for protection or aesthetics.

        2. Ottumwa Job Corps officially says sex is off limits and prohibited, but there is all kinda sex happening at that freaky place. There are at least two Lesbian who have really loud orgasms at least once a week. The Residential Adviser knows about it, but lets it go. The dude watches them and enjoys it from what I hear. I heard a battery operated dildo walking by their room one night followed by a screaming orgasm.
          Nobody really cares as long as it does not get out of hand.

  10. “Can you go to job corps if you owe another school money?” This is an unbelievably common question. Job Corps will run a check on any unpaid debt in your or your parents name. A better question might be “why don’t you pay off your debt rather than live off the fat of the land?”

  11. “What is the likelihood of a job corps student attending college?” Some job corps students in Roswell,NM are Concurrently enrolled in college courses at ENMU.

  12. Mary Gonzales was the HR rep at the Roswell Job Corps about a year and a half ago where I used to work. We were all paid by COI. She could not get anything right and was not very bright. She could not explain whether their 401K was safe harbor or not. Center Boss wanted to fire her. Not sure if she is still there. There was gay guy there named Bryan who caused problems.

    1. I bet you are talking about Brian Z. I worked with him in Midland or maybe Amarillo, TX. long long ago. He could have been an OK nurse, but did not get along too well with other people at work and had hard time holding down a job. He bragged about all his other jobs. It may have been in Travis county that I knew Brian. He Thought he was a lawyer and smarter than everybody. He always would try to top your story to the point nobody believed him. Was not a stable person. I work at Job Corps in Texas and heard he ended up in New Mexico at Albuquerque Job Corps. I would be surprised if he lasted long before quitting or getting fired. I wish him well and hope he finds peace.

      1. I knew a Brian zaliki in Arizona who was an RN back in 2003. I think he was suspended. A lot of nurses had addiction issues. I believe they got him on technicality like working outside of where he had been approved

    2. The Center Boss is called the Center Director. Her name was Lana Kite when I was there teaching. I never will forget a meeting in gym when she told the kids they could have sex, drink, and get into all the trouble they wanted as long as they did not do it between the fences to the Center. She did not care because she already had her per head bonus on the delinquents that were being trained there. She made headline news in McKinney,Texas for gross mismanagement and refused to allow an interview.

      1. Does anybody know the outcome of the lawsuit filed by Richard McKinney against Lana Kite and North Texas Job Corps? Was he the father of one of the students who was beat up on and threatened? That is not Ms Kite’s fault. That kind of crap happens at every school. Not just Job Corps. Hopefully Suit was dismissed.

        RICHARD MCKINNEY, Appellant
        MARIA T. MARTIN, AND LANA KITE, Appellees

        1. Lana Kite, president of COI and former center director at Roswell Job Corps, had her picture taken in newspaper with Tracy Mumford of Sunrise Optimist Club. How did she work her way up to president after all those major issues in McKinney? Was she fined for her involvement? My husband was there a long time before being driven away by her lack of attention to hostile work place environment. Amy Briggs is center director now.

          1. Dr Kite is proud of job corps students Fernando Romero, Jared Thompson, John Sharp, Roberto Reyes,Andre Deale,Austin Howard,dalton Guinn of painting trade program for their work remodeling assurance home auxiliary thrift shop. The efforts of building construction trades instructor Joe Petty should not go unmentioned

          2. Right, Amy who used to supervise Brian who left for greener pastures at ENMU presented an award to Dekay accompanied by PHD Rhonda Smith whose husband works at NMMI I heard. Admin directors get the short end of stick and are fall guys for higher ups who have screwed up.

  13. Many newcomers to Job Corps want to know if the center cracks down hard on not having sex. The ILA I liked the most at Treasure Island in San Francisco was cool about the kids having sex as long as it was not all the time with obvious PDA. The ILA (Independent Living Advisor) had a thing for white girls with muscular legs and a tight tush and actually made it with a few of the better looking students without being caught.
    This all was going on around 4 years ago. Overall getting away with making out and having sex at the Job Corps is about like most high schools. Just don’t go overboard or get caught in the back seat of car. Also do not get caught stealing from Walmart. That is automatic termination/suspension.
    Also, you can wear rings or jewelry unless you are undergoing training. Things attached to your body can accidentally get caught on machinery and become a safety threat.

  14. If you have a drug possession on your record, you will have to write one helluva an appeal to get accepted at job corps. Think about hiring a professional writer or an English teacher and DO NOT screw up again by getting busted or you will get thrown out without exception!!

  15. The DOL canceled summer breaks at all 120 job corps to cut the costs associated with transporting students to and from their homes during the break. Some students prefer staying at job corps during summer break anyway since many come from not so pleasant living conditions. The department of labor giveth and the dol taketh away.
    Sorry no more summer vacations kiddos.

  16. Since summer vacation was canceled will winter break be canceled too. I was wondering because my family was frustrated when summer break was canceled and wants to be able to see me because I haven’t been able to see them in a long time, also I have some personal days about 7 and may save up some more if winter break is canceled too.

    1. Shade,
      Technically neither the summer or winter breaks were canceled. Job Corps is just not covering the cost of travel if student wants to leave during these times.

  17. There are more rich kids enrolled in the job corps than you would think. They do not get special privileges for their dorm rooms. I was friends with a Fort Simcoe rich kid student. You Would have never known this girl was rich. She wanted to earn the job on her own and not have everybody think that her rich parents got it for her.

  18. Many young men and women want to know how far a Job Corps diploma will send them with respect to finding a decent job. My son is an electrical apprentice because of Job Corps and its career services. There were some tough times, but he made it and is out of the house making it on his own.

    Also a big shout out to BRANDON LEHMANN CLASS OF 2009 for being a big time positive influence on Billy boy.

  19. My daughter was 19 when she entdrugsered(enrolled). No drinking, drugs our bad behavior. She did fine for a while, until she told on some girls that were threatening her and doing drugs in the dorm. They didn’t terminate the other girls or move them..they moved her. Her locker code wasn’t changed in her new room. Her camera and all her birthday money was stolen. She complained and still no change. Two days later, more stuff stolen. We complained when they said there was nothing they could do they said they’d look into it. Few weeks later, she went for transition…next thing we know she’s on a plane, no money, no luggage, no meds in her pajamas….

    1. Sorry your daughter had such a negative experience. Which Job Corps did she attend? There is one in Kansas that has a very rough reputation.

  20. JOB CORPS IS TERRIBLE!!! Just kiddin. Job corps in St.Paul Minnesota is pretty cool. There are pros and cons to job corps but overall is a decent place. The food is alright. It’s not no Outback Steakhouse but for a free meal,it’s ok. They mainly have like baked chicken,fish,pork or some type of beef with baked patatoes and a side of veggies. They have a salad bar too. Breakfast they have things like French toast or waffles and eggs or you can have donuts and cereal. They feed you 3 times a day(breakfast lunch and dinner) and you get a snack before bed. You can also go off center to get food for yourself. You can’t go into the girls rooms and vice versa but you can go to their dorm and chill with them in their lounge and vice versa. They do have some troublemakers here but since I arrived,there’s been no fights and things like that. People here do talk a lot about each other but other than that it’s pretty cool. You can’t be on your cell phone during the training day(8AM -340pm) because they’re trying to prepare you for the real world because they feel like if you can’t be on your phone while you’re at work,why should you be on the phone while they’re preparing you to work? You wear uniforms like khaki dickies and a polo shirt. You have a curfew. You have academics and a trade of your choice to complete. At this center we only have one other roommate so theres 2 to a room. You can leave for the weekend but you have to be back before 9pm on Sunday. People really do just shit in the toilet and leave it there though lol. You have a floor job every weekday in your dorm like cleaning the toilets or sweeping and mopping the floors but it changes every week so if you are taking out the trash one week,the next week you might be cleaning them nasty ass toilets. They also have a smoking section where the students go to to smoke their cigarettes and talk shit about each other or the staff but its fun. One thing I hate about job corps is that there’s a million and one rules!!! But just follow most of the rules and you should be good. Job corps is overall a good place to learn and grow. If you are not serious about education and or completing a trade to better your life then this is not a place for you. I got my GED here and almost done completing nursing. My advice to anybody who’s thinking about going to job corps is to get in and get out. Just go in and stay focused! Go to class then go to your trade. The faster you complete,the faster you can leave(with a good paying job). My friend just completed painting now he’s making $16 per hour! Most job corps are ran with a lot of similarities but a lot of them have SLIGHTLY different rules so this is how this one in Minnesota is ran. I here people talking about ghetto and fighting everyday and that’s not how this one here is even though there is some drama here and there but most of the people are generally cool. That’s job corps in my state so I recommend going here if you’re serious about changing your life.

    1. You know Prince, you almost sound like a job corps admin/recruiter/teacher who is trying to promote the place, but you want to make it sound real so you are pretending you are a student. Whatever you are, I appreciate you! Thanks for your honest appraisal of the value job corps adds to your community and our great nation.

      1. LOL I’m an actual student. And thanks,i tried my best. I just wanted to let people know as much as possible because before I first came here,I had a bunch of questions about job corps that I wanted answers to too so if anybody have any questions about life at job corps I’ll be happy to answer them. Like I said,I came straight from a homeless shelter right into job corps so they provided me with education and job training while giving me a place to stay and food to eat so I can’t complain about job corps cause it helped my life alot there’s just too many rules there.

        1. I have been doing a LOT of research on job corps because I am wanting to join, and plan on going to the first meeting thing at my local job corps office in a little less than a week. I have been researching for the past 48 hours when I wasn’t sleeping. Everything I have heard sounds VERY tolerable lol. I am SO stoked to get into job corps, and further my education. I only have a GED an no other college or anything, but I want to go for LPN. I have been wanting to take nursing classes for a WHILE, but this is the first chance I am getting since I have 4 children 4 and under! I am 24 years old, and turning 25 the beginning of next year, and I am so stoked that I made this decision in time. I know it is going to be very hard to leave my little ones, but I am doing it for their future, and so we can have a better life. Right now I am living with my mother, sister, sister’s friend, and step dad in a 3 bedroom trailer. It is VERY difficult, and I have been struggling for the past 4 years since I had my first child (all by the same guy), and just couldn’t seem to get my life straight. With this as an option now I finally feel like I have a way out. I am going to get through as QUICK as possible. I am VERY smart as well. I was out of school for almost two years, never took ANY classes, and aced the GED test with flying colors the first time I took it! So, my question is, what is the least amount of time that you think I would have to be in job corps? My mom and my sister will be looking after my little ones while I am in job corps. I know they have job corps locations that have solo parent programs and child care help for at the most two children per student (I believe), but I don’t want to uproot them just because they will miss me, when they have NUMEROUS people here that they will miss just as much as they miss me. Along with the fact that I don’t want them to have to go somewhere they aren’t familiar with.

    1. Very high, provided no serious criminal offenses or convictions. Also your parent’s income levels have significant influence on whether you are accepted.

  21. Many prospective students interested in enrolling at Clearfield Job Corps want to know if gay sex is tolerated. Sodomy is illegal in the USA, so obviously male gay sex is grounds for being kicked out of school. Utah is sort of a homophobic state. One of the residential advisers does not really keep professional distance from the kids in one of the dorms.

    1. Well, Oregon is more against gays I guess cuz PDA not allowed and ra at Wolf Creek let straight people hug and kiss all they want! Two boys were caught near The center with older man from Chemult. Got away with it.

  22. I am currently a Training Instructor Culinary Arts at a Job Corps center. I have been for the past 27 years. I received my training from Kicking Horse Job Corps and Treasure Island Job Corps. I was a poor Indian boy from the reservation, who could not afford college, and can truthfully say that Job Corps saved my life. I was able to send my two sons to the University of Washington, and they were the first two in my entire family to even attend college. Job Corps has afforded me a life that no one else in my family was able to achieve. Whenever I hear “ANYONE” bad mouth Job Corps, I think to myself, “they must be rich” or “they must be spoiled”? Or both. In my 27 years as a Culinary Arts Instructor, have personally witnessed tens of thousands of lives changed for the positive, and not just from Culinary Arts. Anyone who even thinks to entertain the thought of closing down Job Corps is a fool. The impact of this on our already struggling economy would be catastrophic. Job Corps has always been a safety net to catch those students who cannot afford college. As I tell all students who pass my office, life is full of sacrifices, and of course the food isn’t as great as Mom’s, or the bed is not as soft as your race car bed at home, and we will won’t have a Batman telephone next to your bed like at home. But you must sacrifice a little to get a lot. All you have to do is sacrifice a little of your freedom, invest your hard work, and for free you get a room, a bed, meals, medical, dental, clothes, an education, training in a trade, and you get paid to be here. Now if you don’t think that’s worth it, call your local University and see how much “FREE” stuff they offer? ZERO!
    Sometimes we at Job Corps receive rough students, but that’s because all of us at Job Corps believe that “EVERYONE” deserves a chance at a better life. We don’t give up on anyone until they give up on themselves, and even then we fight to change them in spite of they’re selves. I believe myself to be a Job Corps success story, but I am just one of a million. The problem we have with young people is that they are fighting their way into the workforce, so they are angry, about the dues they have to pay. Some can handle it and fight on to success, while others quit and blame the system.
    Job Corps merely gives you the tools to succeed, how you use them is up to you. I don’t even want to think where I would have ended up without Job Corps intervening in my life. JOB CORPS RULES! JOB CORPS IS THE BEST! All you excellent Job Corps staff and students keep on the good road, you are all the best……….Gerald

    1. Gerald, thanks for your inspirational account of your experiences as a culinary instructor. Rags to Riches stories are always uplifting. We knew a teacher at the Job Corps in McKinney, tx who also moved and transformed the lives of kids who were living on a wing and a prayer! Thanks to all of you who make such a difference in the lives of kids from broken homes.

  23. My son attended both the Anaconda and Penobscot Job Corps. The center director at Penobscot was very supportive of student body and well respected by his staff. All the negative publicity is created by a few crybabies who can’t hack it and need somebody to blame.

  24. Congressman Steve Pearce came out and talked to us at Roswell Job Corps. He told us money will come but it don’t make you successful. Without all his campaign money contributions, I wonder if he would have been successful.

  25. I attended Job Corps back in the early 90’s. I had been kicked out of my house and had nowhere to go. I finished the program with two trades, my GED and my driver’s license. They sent me from Florida to South Carolina.
    It was scary at first, but once I realized that the threats from the other kids were empty and that they really didn’t want to get in trouble anymore than I did then I did, I wasn’t scared.
    I was there for a year and a half and I never got into a physical altercation. I became an honor student and received bonuses and had a good amount of money in my account when I left Job Corps. As a matter of fact, the job that I have now is a direct result of my training at Job Corps. You really do get out of Job Corps what you put into it. I made life long friends there.
    There are some Job Corps centers that are more rough than others. But, it is a good opportunity for kids who don’t have the money for school or don’t have a place to go. As a matter of fact, right now my daughter is considering attending. She has been going through some rough times and wants to get her GED and job training. in the state where we live you can get help with college but you have to make less than a certain amount. We fall between the cracks we make more than the state maximum but we don’t make enough money to pay for college. As a matter of fact we can’t always even pay our billShe’s been having a tough time passing her drivers license test and Job Corps offers tutoring for your driver’s license. I know someone who recently did online school for accounting and she now owes $30,000 and she could have gotten the same certification for a job Corps for free.
    In order to do well at Job Corps you have to have some motivation whether it’s to do good or just not get in any more trouble. You do need to have some common sense and you do need to be vigilant about keeping your things put away and locked and not loaning them out to people. It is difficult to budget your money to buy all of your necessities like laundry soap deodorant toothpaste body wash etc when you don’t have anyone sending you money. I know a lot of foster kids attend Job Corps because once they turn 18 they get put out on the streets and have nowhere to go. But, if you stick to a tight budget and make a couple good friends that you can pull resources with it’s doable.
    Job Corps is just like anywhere else. There a gay people and there are straight people. Kids do have sex there on campus. There were HIV positive kids at the center when I was there.
    I think I did a lot of growing up when I was at Job Corps because it gave me a taste of the real world but it was in a supervised environment. I grew up middle class but we became poor when my parents divorced and my father didn’t send any money. My mother was working two jobs and we didn’t have money for anything. But, we still lived in a nice neighborhood and I wasn’t exposed to the real world. When I went to Job Corps, I learned that you have to go to work and school when you’re sick and you have to do what people tell you to do and you can’t have your parents get you out of it. I learned that people scrubed their walls and toilets everyday and I learned how to live on a schedule and get myself out of bed at 5 o’clock in the morning. I don’t want to say that I was spoiled but my mom kind of let me do whatever I wanted before I went to Job Corps and that’s what got me into trouble. I craved the structure and the consequences and rewards system of Job Corps. That’s why I stayed there for a year and a half. It did teach me how to be more independent also because even though there are lots of rules you have a lot of free time and you get to decide what to do with that free time. I got to eat all my meals with my friends and pick my own food from the offerings at the cafeteria. I got to choose what kind of clothes I wanted to wear when they took me shopping with my clothing allowance. I know that sounds basic but if I had to learn to budget because if I spent all of my clothing allowance on a really nice pair of shoes then I might not be able to afford a coat for when it got cold, etc. I got to decide how quickly I wanted to move through my training. I very quickly learned what the real world is like and how my actions directly affected my progress and my life.

    I would recommend Job Corps to anyone who doesn’t have a serious attitude problem, because that is what causes people get it to get into fights, and wants to get their GED and a trade.

    1. I am searching for a motivational speaker to speak at my job corps graduation. I found somebody named Scott Berkun who has written about being popular as opposed to being good which is ideal topic for our students. Can anybody provide me with his contact info or know what he charges to speak?

  26. A friend worked at the Job Corps in El Paso and told me the center head honcho Lana was cool about the items allowed in the dorm rooms or things you could not have unless you gave her a reason to doubt you. The one in Albuquerque is laid back about it too, but don’t get caught! I think she was married to Tom Kite the professional golfer.

  27. There has been a little buzz about job corps confiscating or keeping your stuff or personal possessions. First if you behave and remain in good standing job corps will be fair to you. A pissed off student at Kicking Horse Job Corps in Montana said they kept his stuff when he was kicked out for being disruptive. I doubt that is true.

    1. It depends on the nature of your infractions on your behavior record. The Job Corps in El Paso and Albuquerque are quite tolerant if you can convince them your childish days are behind you!

      1. Randy limbird, writing for the El Paso scene, is a tad too star struck when he proudly boasts that he saw a naked sigourney weaver taking a shower with her tennis playing boyfriend. Limbird glowingly records the occurrence of a 20 minute conversation with Ed Asner

  28. Hello, I am fifteen year old transgender boy who’s considering enrolling in job corps when I turn sixteen. I wanted to know about the dorms. I identify as male but I am unfortunately in a male(sic—certainly intended female here) body. Would they have me dorm with males or females?

    1. Hi, Riley. I’m a transsexual woman turning 23 in 4 days who’ll be a Job Corps student in Pittsburgh beginning in January. I have already legally changed my name and gender (despite not having any surgery yet), so that will make life at Job Corps a little smoother for me.

      The administration at your Job Corps center may or may not put you in a boys dorm (I take it your were born female and are transitioning to being male/a boy). I suggest you ask your recruiter how your case would be handled and if you are not satisfied, then ask to speak with their supervisor. The supervisor should be more well versed in the Department of Labor’s HR policy. Because of an outdated transgender form, I emailed NCTE (National Center for Transgender Equality) and was given a couple links and after emailing my recruiter was given an apology by her supervisor. Links describing DoL’s policy:
      Also, this slideshow from NCTE can be shown to any ignorant Job Corps employees:

      It may take a bit of arguing on your part (which unfortunately is still necessary much of the time for our rights to be respected), but I do believe that you will be able to dorm with the gender that you identify as. The modernization of the policy was recent and so Job Corps employees are still getting used to it. If you ever feel that you are being discriminated against by a Job Corps employee, you may file a complaint DoL Civil Rights Center at:
      The NCTE rep who emailed me believes that the DoL CRC is very trans friendly. Good luck with your education, and I hope that we can be friends if you attend the Pittsburgh campus.

  29. I know that Job Corps is supposedly strict on drugs, enforcing with immediate termination, but what kind of drugs do they mean by that? I know I won’t be kicked out for taking drugs prescribed to me, but what about if I take a drug that isn’t prescribed to me that is not a scheduled substance? The hypothetical drug in question is domperidone, a med not approved by the FDA that I would be using to promote breast growth. It’s typically used either to promote breast milk production or to stop vomiting, so it would be an off label use.

    1. Josh, The cutoff is 24 years of age in New Mexico. I have heard they make exceptions in special circumstances such as hardship or judge’s order with respect to probation or paying restitution. Job Corps does accept new intake with deferred adjudication or arrest records they do NOT result in felony conviction.

  30. Hi there…I’m a reporter in Washington, DC. doing a story about Job Corps…both success stories and problems with violence on campus. Looking for former program participants to interview on both sides. Would love to hear from anyone who might consider talking.

    1. I know there are many ottumwa iowa job corps students who have literally been pulled out of the streets and saved from a life of crime, violence and drugs by the structure and vocational training provided by job corps.
      Some of you PLEASE take the time and initiative to reply to Miss Sterman and get life saving news out there to young adults who are really not college material!!

  31. I’m considering going to the job corps cenyer in Gainesville, Florida. I would like to know how the gay male students are treated while living there and if they allow you to choose your room mate. I don’t want to be room mates with a straight male because I have had bad experiences in the past with them. If anyone has any info for me please reply asap. Thanks y’all 😘🌈🌈🌈

    1. Do not have any first hand information with whether a gay male can request another gay male in Gainesville, but I think you can get it done. Just don’t be so obvious about it when you are asking for a specific roommate. The less said the better….they will figure it out. There are some homophobic rednecks in Gainesville. So try not to stand out when you are at Walmart or wherever. Good Luck Bro. All the Job Corps in the nation are legally obligated to provide a safe and hospitable campus to people of ALL sexual orientations. Staff is subject to dismissal if they make no attempt to enforce federal law. When I was in El Paso, TX, center director Lana Kite was very gay accommodating and sensitive to us being bullied. She may have had a GLBT relative.

      Kite cared and provided mom’s love far from home. Nothing like the account of guy who went to Sierra Nevada Job Corps outside Reno, NV and earned 4 trades in 6 months in Medical Transcription, Medical Records, Medical Reception, and Medical Codes. He said there was a mob mentality atmosphere forcing gay guys to give oral sex or have the hell beaten out of them.

  32. Hi I’m going to the job courps in buffalo cassadaga NY, n I hear it’s a good one, i wanna do the lpn n I know that’s gonna take awhile to do, mostly a year n a half. I’m excited n stuff but do they really check all your personal stuff, like I wanna bring my toy with me. I’m not in a relationship n I’m not planning on going there for any. I just want to focus on getting my Lpn licenses but still, a girl got needs n sometimes I might wanna use my toy on myself to keep myself satisfied so I was just wondering if I shouldn’t bring it at all or I could? I’m 19 n I just want that to keep myself sexually occupied.

    1. Henry,

      Dildos, of course, are not allowed. However, it’s not like the ILAs will comfiscate them unless you are making enough noise to distract those around you. If you are, they will probably join in. Just teasing. Quite a few there have battery operated boyfriends.

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