Ready to Define Your Career Path? Job Corps is Ready for You!

It’s hard to believe summer is behind us and fall is here! Sometimes it’s tough to find time to search for great job opportunities during the busy fall season. We’re here to help with that search. We’ve developed a series of posts about exciting programs that not only allow you to have a bigger impact on your community, but also grow personally and boost your resume. Here are the other blogs in this series: AmeriCorps and 4-H. Today, we focus on Job Corps.

Job Corps can provide you with an opportunity to connect to in-demand jobs and develop a long-term career plan. The program supports young people with education and career preparation to help you match to local job openings. Low-income youth qualify for Job Corps, as do young people who are parents and those who are in foster care or homeless. Job Corps can be especially beneficial for students who have dropped out of high school.

What is Job Corps?

Job Corps is a free training program to help start your career while earning a GED or high school diploma for those 16-24 who qualify. Job Corps can help you prepare for pre-apprenticeships, college, or to enlist in the armed forces. With 125 centers nationwide, Job Corps can also help you learn career technical skills in more than 100 areas including automotive and machine repair, construction, finance and business services, health care, culinary arts, and many more. Not only will you get career training, you can also take classes in independent living, social skills, and other topics to help you successfully transition into the workplace.

How do you participate?

You must apply to become a student. Students typically live at the Job Corps centers where they complete their training, but some centers serve non-residential students as well. Most centers feature campus-like settings with dorms, and classes in English, driver's education, and money management. Job Corps centers also offer meals, basic health and dental care, a bi-weekly allowance for incidentals, and a clothing allowance. Some centers offer childcare programs for single parents – at no cost. Centers that have non-residential students give priority to single parents.

Once you are accepted, a Job Corps counselor will help you select a job and career path that’s right for you. Usually, you are assigned to the center closest to your home that offers the type of career training you select. It is a self-paced program so the length of your participation depends on your own pace and the specific career program you choose. Training can take anywhere from eight months to two years. If you have a disability you may participate for one additional year, and if you participate in national service your enrollment period may be extended to equal the period of service. After you’ve completed your training, Job Corps will take the extra steps to help you get a job.

Wondering if you’re eligible to join? Take this quiz to find out.[i]

See a Day in the Life at Job Corps

With Job Corps you not only can learn a marketable trade, but make good friends, and leave the program with a good job in hand. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal! Don’t just take it from us, though. Check out Amber’s Day in the Life at Job Corps:

Have other questions about living at the Job Corps centers, job placement, enrollment, and others? Check out this FAQ page. You can also request more information and even have someone from Job Corps call you.

Looking for more? Be sure to also browse our Opportunities page to get connected to internships, conferences, programs, and other ways to get involved. Want weekly updates on opportunities like this? Follow us on Facebook to see young Change Makers doing great work, for opportunities, tools for success, and support.

[i] Pulled from Job Corps: