Center News

Events, stories & announcements

Atterbury Job Corps Center

Published: September 09, 2010 | 3:10 PMARRA

Atterbury Job Corps Center, located in Edinburgh, Ind., is taking a high- and low-technology approach to energy efficiency on campus. From highly sensitive automatic light sensors to freshly planted weeping cherry and blue spruce trees, the center’s energy-saving improvement tactics are reducing its impact on the environment.

Students and staff are benefiting from high-technology equipment and features, including energy-efficient washers and dryers in the dorms, automatic light sensors inside buildings and in parking lots throughout campus, a driving simulator that reduces gasoline-burning trips in vehicles for driver’s education classes, and low-power welding equipment used in career training.

Beyond the improvements that ARRA-funded advanced technology is bringing to the center, students and staff are making a difference by becoming personally responsible in reducing their impact on the environment. This low-tech approach has included a campus-wide recycling program, the planting of four new trees, and the creation of a half-acre organic garden.

Atterbury’s organic garden is a great example of the ability individuals have to make a big impact. Not only are students learning about the environmental and health benefits of growing their own food that is free from unnatural pesticides and herbicides, they are also contributing to a project that will reduce the amount of gasoline burned during food transportation to the center by producing fruits and vegetables from the garden that will be used in cooking the center’s meals.

“Our students are planting, cultivating, and maintaining the garden,” career transition specialist Deborah Bowling said. “They’ve taken ownership of the project and are dedicated to making it a success.”

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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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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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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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Earth Day IS Every Day

Published: May 24, 2010 | 11:25 AMARRA

Job Corps centers across the country celebrated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with a week of events centered around conservation and sustainability. Students cleaned up parks, conducted energy audits, and even dressed up as Earth-friendly mascots.

From late March, until April 23, students and staff at Job Corps participated in green-themed events beginning with Earth Hour on March 27, and culminating with a weeklong celebration (Monday, April 19 - Friday, April 23) that included a variety of fun and creative activities.

The week began with a Kickoff Rally, where centers participated in weeklong recycling competitions and unveiled their green mascots. Tuesday saw centers inviting local community members and organizations to a green fair, while Wednesday sent students on an energy audit scavenger hunt, seeking out ways to make the center more energy-efficient.

On Thursday, April 22, students and staff celebrated the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by planting a tree on center, or celebrating indoors with an Earth Day Every Day rally, allowing students to share their enthusiasm.

Centers planned their own activities for "Freestyle Friday" and closed a very successful and memorable week that no doubt has changed the way Job Corps students and staff think and act when it comes to the environment.

Examples and photos of how centers celebrated during Earth Day Every Day Week are below:

Earth Hour

Jacksonville Job Corps Center held a "Lights Out" party to celebrate Earth Hour, and raise awareness about environmental issues, specifically the importance of conserving energy. Students attended a center-wide cookout, played table games, and studied while using flashlights, which they kept as party favors.

Global Days of Service

Global Days of Service, which was held April 17 and 18, was another great volunteer opportunity for students to put their green training into action. The Gary Job Corps Center showed its dedication to helping the environment by cleaning up a stream in a local park.

What's Your Green Style? – To showcase his green style, Joliet Job Corps Center student, Mitchell Lilly, wrote an inspiring essay that was chosen as the winner of the center's "What's Your Green Style?" competition. The competition was designed so students could share their feelings about Earth Day in a poem, poster, or another form of artwork. Mitchell's essay was read during the center's tree-planting ceremony on Thursday and at a Joliet City Council meeting on May 5.

Students from the Pine Ridge Job Corps Center chose to express their “Green Style” through a song they wrote in the language Karen (kuh-ren).

EDED Green Mascot – A number of centers came up with very stylish and creative green center mascots for the week. 

Recycling Mania! – At the beginning of EDED week, 96 Job Corps centers were provided with special bins to collect recyclable materials throughout the week as part of a centerwide competition. The Abraham Lincoln dormitory at the Atterbury Job Corps Center won its Recycling Mania! competition, collecting more than 24 pounds of recyclables.

Go Green Fair – As part of Tuesday's activity, the Go Green Fair, the David L. Carrasco Job Corps Center hosted local companies that provide the center's green supplies to run booths at the fair for students to learn more about green employers. This was a great opportunity for students to network with local employers and talk about the green training skills they are receiving in their career areas.

Energy Audit – On Wednesday, students at the Westover Job Corps Center used a worksheet created by center staff to conduct an energy audit of their campus. The students were split into several groups, and were then given 45 minutes to survey the campus to find ways they felt they could make the center more energy-efficient. They checked things such as the lighting fixtures, and the efficiency of the plumbing. At the end of the audit, students submitted their worksheets to the center director and center green committee with recommendations of how to conserve energy on center.

Tree-Planting Ceremony – To celebrate the official date of Earth Day, each contractor-operated Job Corps center received funding to purchase a tree and tree-marker plaque to commemorate EDED Week. Centers across the country submitted photos of their tree selections and ceremony.

Path to a Greener World – To remember their green efforts during EDED Week, students were encouraged to make personalized garden stones as symbols of their Path to a Greener World. The Delaware Valley Job Corps Center students painted stones that were then placed around the new tree they helped to plant on center.

Earth Day Rally – To conclude Thursday's celebration, the Old Dominion Job Corps Center staff brought together symbols from events of previous days, including their decorated stones from the Path to a Greener World activity, the recyclables they collected throughout the week, and decorative EDED posters with conservation tips to remind students of what they had learned during the week.

Freestyle Friday – On Friday, all centers were given the opportunity to plan and execute a green activity of their choice. The Detroit Job Corps Center spent Friday helping the environment by cleaning up Orange Lawn Park, an abandoned park near the center. Students were invited by State Representative David E. Nathan to partner with Home Depot and a local middle school to help remove trash, debris, and overgrown vegetation from the site.

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