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Overview:

One of the oldest social programs in the federal government today, the Job Corps tries to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds complete their high school education and get a good start in the working world. The program has trained and educated two million individuals since it was first established during the Great Society era of the 1960s. Job Corps participants receive not only job assistance and education, but also room and board during their time in the program, which can last up to two years. In spite of its altruistic mission, the Job Corps has long been a source of debate between liberals and conservatives over the program’s continuation and funding.

more
History:

The Job Corps was created during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 as part of Johnson’s War on Poverty and Great Society initiatives that sought to expand economic and social opportunities for Americans, especially minorities and the poor. A product of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, the Job Corps was first set up by Sargent Shriver, a member of the Kennedy family who ran many of Johnson’s social programs. Shriver modeled the Job Corps on the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, which provided room, board and employment to thousands of unemployed people.

 

During its early years, the Job Corps struggled with a high dropout rate, management disputes, and hostility from local communities. The program also had its political detractors. President Richard M. Nixon shuttered many Job Corps centers, trimmed the program’s budget, and moved it to the Manpower Administration in the Department of Labor. Residential services were curtailed in favoring of having participants commute from their homes, while greater emphasis was placed on technical training instead of general remedial education.

 

When President Ronald Reagan came into office in 1981, supporters of the Job Corps feared the program would be eliminated as part of Reagan’s attempts to slash federal spending and eradicate programs that helped the poor. However, the Job Corps managed to survive the Reagan years intact.

 

When Republicans took control of Congress in the mid-1990s, the Job Corps was targeted for criticism. Opponents claimed the program was costly and inefficient, requiring $26,000 per student while graduating fewer than 15% of participants. A 1995 bill tried to end the federal Job Corps and turn control over to the states. The effort failed, but cutbacks were implemented, resulting in the closure of some centers. The Clinton administration tried to bolster the reputation of the Job Corps by commissioning a study of the program, but the report did more harm than good as its methodology was criticized and resulted in a lawsuit by those who participated in the study.

 

Under President George W. Bush, the Job Corps struggled to survive. Administration officials in the Department of Labor have tried to axe funding for the program, only to have it restored by Congress. In March 2006, the Office of Job Corps became part of the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Labor.

History of the Job Corps (Answers.com)

Stopping the Labor Department Planned Destruction of Job Corps (by Scott Lilly and Angela Styles, Center for American Progress)

Survivor of the Budget Cuts (by Ellie McGrath, Time)

more
What it Does:

Part of the Department of Labor (DOL), the Job Corps seeks to help disadvantaged youths gain employment and/or complete their high school education. The Job Corps program has trained and educated two million individuals since it was first established. Approximately 62,000 young people each year participate in the program through 125 Job Corps centers throughout the country. A new center in Manchester, New Hampshire, is scheduled to open in 2013, and a total of 122 centers are expected to be operational that year.

 

According to the program, the typical Job Corps student is an 18-year-old high-school dropout who reads at a seventh-grade level, belongs to a minority group, and has never held a full-time job. Approximately 75% of Job Corps enrollees are members of minority groups, 75% are high-school dropouts, and more than 34% are from families on public assistance.

 

Participants in the program are provided housing while they work towards learning a trade, completing their education and gaining employment. Participants are paid a monthly allowance which varies depending on how long an individual remains in the program. The Job Corps also provides career counseling and transition support to its graduates. To enroll in Job Corps, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 16 through 24 years old;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident;
  • Be ready, willing, and able to participate fully in an educational environment.

 

All Job Corps services are provided through the office’s Career Development Services System. Upon joining Job Corps, each student works with staff to develop an individualized Personal Career Development Plan. Students receive hands-on career training in more than 100 occupational areas including health occupations, construction-related fields, culinary arts, business, and technology-related industries. They can also participate in on-the-job training at real work sites through work-based learning opportunities. Students have the opportunity to earn a high-school diploma or GED and learn employability and independent-living skills.

 

While enrolled in the program, students receive housing, meals, basic medical care, and biweekly living allowances. The Job Corps also has strict rules against drugs and violence. Since the corps is a self-paced program and lengths of stay vary, students may remain enrolled for up to two years.

 

Approximately 90% of Job Corps graduates go on to careers in the private sector, enlist in the military or move on to higher education or advanced training programs. Graduates receive transitional support services, including help locating housing, child care and transportation, for up to 18 months after they leave the program.

Local Job Corps Web Sites

 

From the Web Site of Job Corps

Business Partners

Contact Information

Employment Opportunities

FAQs

How Job Corps Works

Locations

Parents

Performance and Planning

Success Stories

Veterans

Young Adults

more
Where Does the Money Go:

Of the 125 Job Corps centers located in the United States, 77% of them (94) are run by just four private companies: Career Systems Development Corporation, Management and Training Corporation, MINACT and Res-Care. The remaining 28 centers, known as civilian conservation centers, are located on federal lands and are operated by the Agriculture and Interior departments.

 

The largest Job Corps contractor is Management and Training Corp., which operates 25 centers nationally, including centers in San Bernardino, California; Chicago, Illinois; and Atlanta, Georgia.

 

The second largest is Res-Care, operator of 15 centers, including ones in Phoenix, Arizona; Tucson, Arizona; the Bronx, New York; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Miami, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Treasure Island in San Francisco, California. Res-Care’s contract for the Miami center totaled $13.5 million, the Tulsa contract was for $14 million, and Treasure Island brought in a trove worth $38.6 million.

 

Career Systems Development Corp. runs 11 centers, including those in Sacramento, San Diego and San Jose in California; New Orleans, Louisiana; and St. Paul, Minnesota.

 

MINACT runs 11 centers in nine states including those in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and St. Louis, Missouri.

 

Other, smaller contractors that run Job Corps centers include:

 

Contracts in FY2011 totaled more than $9 million to date, including $1.8 million paid to the Center for Disease Detection, and $1.7 million paid to the Transportation Communication Union, and $3.1 million placed in the UBC National Job Corps Training Fund.

 

Job Corps FY 2013 Congressional Budget Justification (pdf)

more
Suggested Reforms:

Every two years the Advisory Committee on Job Corps examines the Job Corps program and releases its findings in a published report. The committee includes representatives from industry, academia, labor, career technical training, workforce development, faith-based, and community organizations, law enforcement and other sectors. Its latest report, published in April 2008, made 22 recommendations of varying importance for Job Corps leaders to consider.

 

Key recommendations were:

Simplify and Streamline OMS

Job Corps’ Outcomes Measurement System (OMS) is designed for Job Corps staff to assess their work in helping students throughout the Career Development Services System. The committee concluded that OMS was “cumbersome, complex and confusing and needs to be revamped.” Advisory members recommended the system be revised to make it “simpler, more streamlined, easier to understand and able to collect pertinent data that supports strategic and tactical decision-making at national, regional, corporate and center levels.”

 

Re-evaluate Common Outcomes Measures

Job Corps’ parent, the Department of Labor, is required by the Office of Management and Budget to collect information that is “not collectible,” causing Job Corps staff to waste time trying to meet OMB requirements. The committee recommended that labor officials find ways to pool information it collects for various reports to reduce the time spent on this activity so more time is available for student outcome improvement.

 

Align Training with Industry and Educational Requirements

Job Corps needs to do a better job of shaping its career and technical education training experiences in order for students to gain the real-world experience they need to compete in the job market. The committee recommended that program officials align Job Corps training with nationally recognized industry standards and educational institution

requirements.

Advisory Committee on Job Corps Report 2008 (pdf)

more
Debate:

A Wise Investment or a Waste of Money?

For almost as long as it has been around, the Job Corps has sparked debate over the program’s success and effectiveness. Conservatives and Republican lawmakers have usually been the most vocal critics of Job Corps, often calling for reductions, if not outright elimination of the program altogether. Democrats and labor representatives have been staunch supporters of the program and have managed to keep it alive even during periods of Republican presidencies.

 

For

Supporters of the Job Corps insist the program has been a wise investment of federal dollars over the past 40 years. Their assertions, as echoed in the report, “Does Job Corps Work?” (pdf) are that:

  • Job Corps centers deliver comprehensive and consistent services
  • Job Corps makes a meaningful difference in participants’ educational attainment and earnings
  • The gains from Job Corps are found across most groups of students and types of settings
  • Job Corps is cost-effective: the value of benefits from the program exceed its costs

 

Against

According to The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, the Job Corps is a waste of money and should be closed down. Despite its lofty goals of helping young people advance their educational and vocational opportunities, the program simply does not produce results in a cost-effective manner.

 

The Heritage Foundation cites results from three sources—the 2001 “National Job Corps Study: The Impacts of Job Corps on Participants’ Employment and Related Outcomes,” the 2001 “National Job Corps Study: The Benefits and Costs of Job Corps” and the 2003 “National Job Corps Study: Findings Using Administrative Earnings Records Data” (pdf) —to point out how much is spent to achieve few results. In fact, the think tank argued that some Job Corps data indicated that the program made things even worse for some participants in terms of income. Citing statistics from the 2003 study, The Heritage Foundation claimed that young women without children who participated in Job Corps earned less money after graduating than similar women who never participated in the program.

Job Corps: A Consistent Record of Failure (by David B. Muhlhausen, Heritage Foundation)

more
Congressional Oversight:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Committee on Appropriations

 

more
See all 96 comments

Comments

Gloria Leirer 1 month ago
My daughter was in Job Corps in Mingo/Puxico MO. They have ruined her credit because while she was in Job Corps they had taken her to the hospital and Doctor's office a few times and did not pay as the contract my daughter signed said that they would. She was then given the run around every time she called to get it straightened out. She is having to live at home with us and is trying to pay off the many thousands of dollar medical bills that they were supposed to pay but now she is stuck with. I am going to try to contact the Dept of Labor or maybe even try to sue them so this debt is paid off and my daughter can move on with her life.
Maria Ortiz 2 months ago
Well my daughter has only been there for 2 weeks, got school uniforms that stink like fish, she was involved in a accident in a federal government vehicle on the way to a field trip, they were not going to have any of the students go to the ER to get check til they called me and told me of the incident, which I specified whether they have bruises or not everyone involved should go to the Er, if they could not take my daughter, then I would drive over there my self to do so. Plus she has gotten bit by bed bugs since she has been there, what kind of sanitary place is this, and what precautions are the employees doing to take care of this situation besides giving her a new bed. Bed bugs travel hello... You supposed to shut that dorm down and take any necessary means to get rid of the problem.. Instead of handing the students benadryl and say this should take care of it. I do to get the run around and by with the director, the nurse/ doctor!! I can't even access information on the accident.. That's BS. My daughter is a Minor. So since I am getting the run around I am going to take action on behalf of my daughter. She doesn't want to quit but if no one is going to do anything about it I will. I wish I could upload photos on here.. To show proof on her bites.. FYI this is the Job Corp in San Marcos
Ronnie Whitmire 5 months ago
I have been trying to find stats on how many blacks was allowed into these programs in the early start up period and what was the vote count as far as Republicans and Democrats for and against.What was the vote for the cival rights acts also.
anonymous 2 years ago
I am a current student at the Gary Job Corps Texas. I was wondering I've been here about 4 months, could I JUST get my HSE and leave? I'm trying to get out, go home, join the US Army reserves and live my life.
April Maloney 2 years ago
Brenda Coleman, I don't know much about today but I went to Job Corps 17 years ago. It was probably one of the best things I could of ever did. Look around online. You should be able to find out more information about the campuses and which one would be best for your family.
Brenda Coleman 2 years ago
I find many of the comments disturbing as my grandson is trying to get into the program. I would really appreciate a reply as to how we can get information on the different centers. Most of these kids already have emotional issues and learning disabilities. I would hope these would not be compounded.
darrellluchion 3 years ago
I THING LBJ CENTER SHOUDLGO BY THE RULES THEY HAVE PUT IN THE HAND OF CONDUCT BOOK.I think every one should be treated the same and some of the staff should respect students as well as the students give the staff respect. i think the they should find a way that the students know how to learn.
Jasmin gonzalez cruz 3 years ago
Please give me a call 7178056438 this is my concern for Pittsburgh job corp . Director not pofessional on phone with me at all didn't even get a phone call about the situation I called multiple times and all I get is the run around.. very unacceptable. ....
Current JC Employee 3 years ago
Good morning to all who have made comments on this page and as we all know are free to make their own opinion about how they feel about the program. As we all know Job Corps is a choice you make to enroll, your choice about the decisions you make while there, and good or bad you may make that choice because of the choices you have taken. I read and here about they did this or they did that and nothing came of it. if it bothered you that much, and it actually happened then why did you not continue to investigate and ensure it would not happen to others, if it indeed di occur. You have to remember that Job Corps is a choice, you do not get sentenced to the program you do not get awarded the program for good behavior by your parole or probation officer. You simply set up a meeting with the local admission office, bring in the required paperwork, go thru what screening process you have to do, and then you get a date to start your program. Once you are there it is up to you how long you are there as most trades are locked in to a certain time frame and some are at your own pace. Why do I know a little about this, well I have been with Job Corps for over 8 years. the joy you get out of seeing a student who was struggling with there academics and finally reach the level they needed, to complete their Drivers Education and receive their license, and then to finally complete their trade and then graduate, is a feeling that is both awesome for you as the instructor, residential advisor, manager and even the Center Director. This is all in knowing the student is following all the rules, following the day to day expectations. If they choose bot to follow the rules and do as they want then they will fall into the Behavior Modification program to try and move the student back to the "right side of the track" and do the right things, letting them know if they continue to not be complaint and follow the rules then it could lead to the separation from the program. They know the rules and expectations as they are given them on their first or second day on center, and review them with a staff member to ensure understanding. Nothing is just given to them and told "good luck" We want to see each and every student be successful and graduate and move on to a career. The last thing I can say is you get out of it what you put into it. As a former Job Corps employee who made his way to a Senior Leadership Level and took pride in what I did, I can only say to those who have graduated and moved....Congratulations and job well done. I hope to one day be able to be in the position again to make a difference in our young adults lives as I did before.
Jordan 4 years ago
I can agree with the complement on the Anaconda Job Corps. They did nothing to truly help me when I was up there. All I can say is that when I was up there not all of the people had excepted me. Pretty much none of the instructors had truly helped me in the trade I had chosen. The only two instructors who helped me worked in the kitchen where we as the students had to help make, prepare, and serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have a friend up there who truly was raped and when she turned it in the staff starting calling her a liar and saying that she gave the dude consent and every thing else. The same exact kid is being protected by the center staff. I do agree with the program but they truly need to take and hire the right staff to teach a trade. When ever I had asked for help in the classroom part of my trade they never truly had helped me out on that. I mean What do you expect us to do when we are not very good with only book work. I even told them I am better at hands on training than I am at doing the book work. But they never listened. Also the classroom instructor really didn't do a dam thing except sit in her office and made us work from our books by our selves. When ever we started talking she would write us up for it. It didn't matter that we were trying to find someone who would truly help us out on the note taking or if we had any kind of questions pertaining to the book work. I also wanted to try and do a second trade but they wouldn't let me. All I wanted to do culinary arts for is to learn more about cooking. When I even mentioned advanced training they said how about college? I went there to avoid having to go to college at the time. I am sorry but I struggle with all sorts of book work, homework, note taking, and that like. I would never advise anyone to go to that Job Corps center. I can see the good it has done with a lot of people don't get me wrong but unless they will truly help you I would advice to wait and get readings of the center by researching and that like before making your final decision. I hope that this was helpful.

Leave a comment

Founded: 1964
Annual Budget: $1.65 billion (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: 166 (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://jobcorps.gov
Job Corps
Jacobs-Simmons, Lenita
Administrator

Lenita Jacobs-Simmons was named administrator for Job Corps in November 2014. A program within the U.S. Department of Labor, Job Corps has trained and educated more than two million youths from disadvantaged backgrounds since its establishment in 1964. It currently provides annual assistance to 60,000 people, ages 16 to 24. Job Corps centers are operated by private companies which contract with the Department of Labor.

 

Born circa 1959, Jacobs-Simmons grew up in Philadelphia. Her official biography states that she graduated from Temple University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. However, she declined to provide AllGov with the years of her attendance, the nature of her degrees and the subjects in which she majored.

 

In South Carolina, Jacobs-Simmons served as grants administrator for the Charleston County government and executive director of the Trident Workforce Investment Board. In 1999, she joined the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) as deputy assistant secretary. In February 2002, she was named administrator of the Department of Labor and deputy assistant secretary for ETA’s field operations.

 

Jacobs-Simmons was subsequently named regional administrator for ETA’s Philadelphia office, which gave her responsibility for oversight of ETA programs administered in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Those programs included the Wagner Peyser Act, which connects job seekers with employers, the Workforce Investment Act and Unemployment Insurance. Jacobs-Simmons was responsible for management of nearly $2 billion in federal grants administered by more than 150 grantee organizations.

 

As Job Corps’ national director, Jacobs-Simmons oversees the program’s 125 centers throughout the United States.

-Danny Biederman

 

To Learn More

Audio Interview with Lenita Jacobs-Simmons (Tom Joyner Morning Show, BlackAmericaWeb.com)

Video Interview with Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, Part I (ResCare Workforce Services Network)

Video Interview with Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, Part II (ResCare Workforce Services Network)

Job Corps Facebook Page

Official Biography

more
Primrose, Edna
Previous Administrator

A longtime job training executive, Edna Primrose has served as the national director of the Job Corps program since March 2010.

 
Primrose attended college at Towson University in Maryland, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration.
 
In 1984, she began her professional career with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), a Job Corps National Training Contractor. Working her way from administrative assistant to program coordinator, she was chosen to lead the IUOE Job Corps Training Program as national director from 1997-2000.
 
In 2000, Primrose joined the National Office of Job Corps as its chief performance officer, directing the Division of Program Support and Accountability. She oversaw the performance assessment and measurement system for the program, establishing benchmarks and developing the infrastructure to comply with the Workforce Investment Act.
 
From 2003 to 2007, Primrose served as deputy center director of the Woodstock Job Corps Center and center director of the Woodland Job Corps Center, both in Maryland.
 
Prior to joining the Obama administration, she was executive director of policy development and staff training at Adams and Associates, Inc., a company that operates twelve Job Corps Centers in nine states.
 
Official Biography (Job Corps)
 
more
Bookmark and Share
Overview:

One of the oldest social programs in the federal government today, the Job Corps tries to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds complete their high school education and get a good start in the working world. The program has trained and educated two million individuals since it was first established during the Great Society era of the 1960s. Job Corps participants receive not only job assistance and education, but also room and board during their time in the program, which can last up to two years. In spite of its altruistic mission, the Job Corps has long been a source of debate between liberals and conservatives over the program’s continuation and funding.

more
History:

The Job Corps was created during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 as part of Johnson’s War on Poverty and Great Society initiatives that sought to expand economic and social opportunities for Americans, especially minorities and the poor. A product of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, the Job Corps was first set up by Sargent Shriver, a member of the Kennedy family who ran many of Johnson’s social programs. Shriver modeled the Job Corps on the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, which provided room, board and employment to thousands of unemployed people.

 

During its early years, the Job Corps struggled with a high dropout rate, management disputes, and hostility from local communities. The program also had its political detractors. President Richard M. Nixon shuttered many Job Corps centers, trimmed the program’s budget, and moved it to the Manpower Administration in the Department of Labor. Residential services were curtailed in favoring of having participants commute from their homes, while greater emphasis was placed on technical training instead of general remedial education.

 

When President Ronald Reagan came into office in 1981, supporters of the Job Corps feared the program would be eliminated as part of Reagan’s attempts to slash federal spending and eradicate programs that helped the poor. However, the Job Corps managed to survive the Reagan years intact.

 

When Republicans took control of Congress in the mid-1990s, the Job Corps was targeted for criticism. Opponents claimed the program was costly and inefficient, requiring $26,000 per student while graduating fewer than 15% of participants. A 1995 bill tried to end the federal Job Corps and turn control over to the states. The effort failed, but cutbacks were implemented, resulting in the closure of some centers. The Clinton administration tried to bolster the reputation of the Job Corps by commissioning a study of the program, but the report did more harm than good as its methodology was criticized and resulted in a lawsuit by those who participated in the study.

 

Under President George W. Bush, the Job Corps struggled to survive. Administration officials in the Department of Labor have tried to axe funding for the program, only to have it restored by Congress. In March 2006, the Office of Job Corps became part of the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Labor.

History of the Job Corps (Answers.com)

Stopping the Labor Department Planned Destruction of Job Corps (by Scott Lilly and Angela Styles, Center for American Progress)

Survivor of the Budget Cuts (by Ellie McGrath, Time)

more
What it Does:

Part of the Department of Labor (DOL), the Job Corps seeks to help disadvantaged youths gain employment and/or complete their high school education. The Job Corps program has trained and educated two million individuals since it was first established. Approximately 62,000 young people each year participate in the program through 125 Job Corps centers throughout the country. A new center in Manchester, New Hampshire, is scheduled to open in 2013, and a total of 122 centers are expected to be operational that year.

 

According to the program, the typical Job Corps student is an 18-year-old high-school dropout who reads at a seventh-grade level, belongs to a minority group, and has never held a full-time job. Approximately 75% of Job Corps enrollees are members of minority groups, 75% are high-school dropouts, and more than 34% are from families on public assistance.

 

Participants in the program are provided housing while they work towards learning a trade, completing their education and gaining employment. Participants are paid a monthly allowance which varies depending on how long an individual remains in the program. The Job Corps also provides career counseling and transition support to its graduates. To enroll in Job Corps, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 16 through 24 years old;
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident;
  • Be ready, willing, and able to participate fully in an educational environment.

 

All Job Corps services are provided through the office’s Career Development Services System. Upon joining Job Corps, each student works with staff to develop an individualized Personal Career Development Plan. Students receive hands-on career training in more than 100 occupational areas including health occupations, construction-related fields, culinary arts, business, and technology-related industries. They can also participate in on-the-job training at real work sites through work-based learning opportunities. Students have the opportunity to earn a high-school diploma or GED and learn employability and independent-living skills.

 

While enrolled in the program, students receive housing, meals, basic medical care, and biweekly living allowances. The Job Corps also has strict rules against drugs and violence. Since the corps is a self-paced program and lengths of stay vary, students may remain enrolled for up to two years.

 

Approximately 90% of Job Corps graduates go on to careers in the private sector, enlist in the military or move on to higher education or advanced training programs. Graduates receive transitional support services, including help locating housing, child care and transportation, for up to 18 months after they leave the program.

Local Job Corps Web Sites

 

From the Web Site of Job Corps

Business Partners

Contact Information

Employment Opportunities

FAQs

How Job Corps Works

Locations

Parents

Performance and Planning

Success Stories

Veterans

Young Adults

more
Where Does the Money Go:

Of the 125 Job Corps centers located in the United States, 77% of them (94) are run by just four private companies: Career Systems Development Corporation, Management and Training Corporation, MINACT and Res-Care. The remaining 28 centers, known as civilian conservation centers, are located on federal lands and are operated by the Agriculture and Interior departments.

 

The largest Job Corps contractor is Management and Training Corp., which operates 25 centers nationally, including centers in San Bernardino, California; Chicago, Illinois; and Atlanta, Georgia.

 

The second largest is Res-Care, operator of 15 centers, including ones in Phoenix, Arizona; Tucson, Arizona; the Bronx, New York; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Miami, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Treasure Island in San Francisco, California. Res-Care’s contract for the Miami center totaled $13.5 million, the Tulsa contract was for $14 million, and Treasure Island brought in a trove worth $38.6 million.

 

Career Systems Development Corp. runs 11 centers, including those in Sacramento, San Diego and San Jose in California; New Orleans, Louisiana; and St. Paul, Minnesota.

 

MINACT runs 11 centers in nine states including those in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and St. Louis, Missouri.

 

Other, smaller contractors that run Job Corps centers include:

 

Contracts in FY2011 totaled more than $9 million to date, including $1.8 million paid to the Center for Disease Detection, and $1.7 million paid to the Transportation Communication Union, and $3.1 million placed in the UBC National Job Corps Training Fund.

 

Job Corps FY 2013 Congressional Budget Justification (pdf)

more
Suggested Reforms:

Every two years the Advisory Committee on Job Corps examines the Job Corps program and releases its findings in a published report. The committee includes representatives from industry, academia, labor, career technical training, workforce development, faith-based, and community organizations, law enforcement and other sectors. Its latest report, published in April 2008, made 22 recommendations of varying importance for Job Corps leaders to consider.

 

Key recommendations were:

Simplify and Streamline OMS

Job Corps’ Outcomes Measurement System (OMS) is designed for Job Corps staff to assess their work in helping students throughout the Career Development Services System. The committee concluded that OMS was “cumbersome, complex and confusing and needs to be revamped.” Advisory members recommended the system be revised to make it “simpler, more streamlined, easier to understand and able to collect pertinent data that supports strategic and tactical decision-making at national, regional, corporate and center levels.”

 

Re-evaluate Common Outcomes Measures

Job Corps’ parent, the Department of Labor, is required by the Office of Management and Budget to collect information that is “not collectible,” causing Job Corps staff to waste time trying to meet OMB requirements. The committee recommended that labor officials find ways to pool information it collects for various reports to reduce the time spent on this activity so more time is available for student outcome improvement.

 

Align Training with Industry and Educational Requirements

Job Corps needs to do a better job of shaping its career and technical education training experiences in order for students to gain the real-world experience they need to compete in the job market. The committee recommended that program officials align Job Corps training with nationally recognized industry standards and educational institution

requirements.

Advisory Committee on Job Corps Report 2008 (pdf)

more
Debate:

A Wise Investment or a Waste of Money?

For almost as long as it has been around, the Job Corps has sparked debate over the program’s success and effectiveness. Conservatives and Republican lawmakers have usually been the most vocal critics of Job Corps, often calling for reductions, if not outright elimination of the program altogether. Democrats and labor representatives have been staunch supporters of the program and have managed to keep it alive even during periods of Republican presidencies.

 

For

Supporters of the Job Corps insist the program has been a wise investment of federal dollars over the past 40 years. Their assertions, as echoed in the report, “Does Job Corps Work?” (pdf) are that:

  • Job Corps centers deliver comprehensive and consistent services
  • Job Corps makes a meaningful difference in participants’ educational attainment and earnings
  • The gains from Job Corps are found across most groups of students and types of settings
  • Job Corps is cost-effective: the value of benefits from the program exceed its costs

 

Against

According to The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, the Job Corps is a waste of money and should be closed down. Despite its lofty goals of helping young people advance their educational and vocational opportunities, the program simply does not produce results in a cost-effective manner.

 

The Heritage Foundation cites results from three sources—the 2001 “National Job Corps Study: The Impacts of Job Corps on Participants’ Employment and Related Outcomes,” the 2001 “National Job Corps Study: The Benefits and Costs of Job Corps” and the 2003 “National Job Corps Study: Findings Using Administrative Earnings Records Data” (pdf) —to point out how much is spent to achieve few results. In fact, the think tank argued that some Job Corps data indicated that the program made things even worse for some participants in terms of income. Citing statistics from the 2003 study, The Heritage Foundation claimed that young women without children who participated in Job Corps earned less money after graduating than similar women who never participated in the program.

Job Corps: A Consistent Record of Failure (by David B. Muhlhausen, Heritage Foundation)

more
Congressional Oversight:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Committee on Appropriations

 

more
See all 96 comments

Comments

Gloria Leirer 1 month ago
My daughter was in Job Corps in Mingo/Puxico MO. They have ruined her credit because while she was in Job Corps they had taken her to the hospital and Doctor's office a few times and did not pay as the contract my daughter signed said that they would. She was then given the run around every time she called to get it straightened out. She is having to live at home with us and is trying to pay off the many thousands of dollar medical bills that they were supposed to pay but now she is stuck with. I am going to try to contact the Dept of Labor or maybe even try to sue them so this debt is paid off and my daughter can move on with her life.
Maria Ortiz 2 months ago
Well my daughter has only been there for 2 weeks, got school uniforms that stink like fish, she was involved in a accident in a federal government vehicle on the way to a field trip, they were not going to have any of the students go to the ER to get check til they called me and told me of the incident, which I specified whether they have bruises or not everyone involved should go to the Er, if they could not take my daughter, then I would drive over there my self to do so. Plus she has gotten bit by bed bugs since she has been there, what kind of sanitary place is this, and what precautions are the employees doing to take care of this situation besides giving her a new bed. Bed bugs travel hello... You supposed to shut that dorm down and take any necessary means to get rid of the problem.. Instead of handing the students benadryl and say this should take care of it. I do to get the run around and by with the director, the nurse/ doctor!! I can't even access information on the accident.. That's BS. My daughter is a Minor. So since I am getting the run around I am going to take action on behalf of my daughter. She doesn't want to quit but if no one is going to do anything about it I will. I wish I could upload photos on here.. To show proof on her bites.. FYI this is the Job Corp in San Marcos
Ronnie Whitmire 5 months ago
I have been trying to find stats on how many blacks was allowed into these programs in the early start up period and what was the vote count as far as Republicans and Democrats for and against.What was the vote for the cival rights acts also.
anonymous 2 years ago
I am a current student at the Gary Job Corps Texas. I was wondering I've been here about 4 months, could I JUST get my HSE and leave? I'm trying to get out, go home, join the US Army reserves and live my life.
April Maloney 2 years ago
Brenda Coleman, I don't know much about today but I went to Job Corps 17 years ago. It was probably one of the best things I could of ever did. Look around online. You should be able to find out more information about the campuses and which one would be best for your family.
Brenda Coleman 2 years ago
I find many of the comments disturbing as my grandson is trying to get into the program. I would really appreciate a reply as to how we can get information on the different centers. Most of these kids already have emotional issues and learning disabilities. I would hope these would not be compounded.
darrellluchion 3 years ago
I THING LBJ CENTER SHOUDLGO BY THE RULES THEY HAVE PUT IN THE HAND OF CONDUCT BOOK.I think every one should be treated the same and some of the staff should respect students as well as the students give the staff respect. i think the they should find a way that the students know how to learn.
Jasmin gonzalez cruz 3 years ago
Please give me a call 7178056438 this is my concern for Pittsburgh job corp . Director not pofessional on phone with me at all didn't even get a phone call about the situation I called multiple times and all I get is the run around.. very unacceptable. ....
Current JC Employee 3 years ago
Good morning to all who have made comments on this page and as we all know are free to make their own opinion about how they feel about the program. As we all know Job Corps is a choice you make to enroll, your choice about the decisions you make while there, and good or bad you may make that choice because of the choices you have taken. I read and here about they did this or they did that and nothing came of it. if it bothered you that much, and it actually happened then why did you not continue to investigate and ensure it would not happen to others, if it indeed di occur. You have to remember that Job Corps is a choice, you do not get sentenced to the program you do not get awarded the program for good behavior by your parole or probation officer. You simply set up a meeting with the local admission office, bring in the required paperwork, go thru what screening process you have to do, and then you get a date to start your program. Once you are there it is up to you how long you are there as most trades are locked in to a certain time frame and some are at your own pace. Why do I know a little about this, well I have been with Job Corps for over 8 years. the joy you get out of seeing a student who was struggling with there academics and finally reach the level they needed, to complete their Drivers Education and receive their license, and then to finally complete their trade and then graduate, is a feeling that is both awesome for you as the instructor, residential advisor, manager and even the Center Director. This is all in knowing the student is following all the rules, following the day to day expectations. If they choose bot to follow the rules and do as they want then they will fall into the Behavior Modification program to try and move the student back to the "right side of the track" and do the right things, letting them know if they continue to not be complaint and follow the rules then it could lead to the separation from the program. They know the rules and expectations as they are given them on their first or second day on center, and review them with a staff member to ensure understanding. Nothing is just given to them and told "good luck" We want to see each and every student be successful and graduate and move on to a career. The last thing I can say is you get out of it what you put into it. As a former Job Corps employee who made his way to a Senior Leadership Level and took pride in what I did, I can only say to those who have graduated and moved....Congratulations and job well done. I hope to one day be able to be in the position again to make a difference in our young adults lives as I did before.
Jordan 4 years ago
I can agree with the complement on the Anaconda Job Corps. They did nothing to truly help me when I was up there. All I can say is that when I was up there not all of the people had excepted me. Pretty much none of the instructors had truly helped me in the trade I had chosen. The only two instructors who helped me worked in the kitchen where we as the students had to help make, prepare, and serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have a friend up there who truly was raped and when she turned it in the staff starting calling her a liar and saying that she gave the dude consent and every thing else. The same exact kid is being protected by the center staff. I do agree with the program but they truly need to take and hire the right staff to teach a trade. When ever I had asked for help in the classroom part of my trade they never truly had helped me out on that. I mean What do you expect us to do when we are not very good with only book work. I even told them I am better at hands on training than I am at doing the book work. But they never listened. Also the classroom instructor really didn't do a dam thing except sit in her office and made us work from our books by our selves. When ever we started talking she would write us up for it. It didn't matter that we were trying to find someone who would truly help us out on the note taking or if we had any kind of questions pertaining to the book work. I also wanted to try and do a second trade but they wouldn't let me. All I wanted to do culinary arts for is to learn more about cooking. When I even mentioned advanced training they said how about college? I went there to avoid having to go to college at the time. I am sorry but I struggle with all sorts of book work, homework, note taking, and that like. I would never advise anyone to go to that Job Corps center. I can see the good it has done with a lot of people don't get me wrong but unless they will truly help you I would advice to wait and get readings of the center by researching and that like before making your final decision. I hope that this was helpful.

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Founded: 1964
Annual Budget: $1.65 billion (FY 2013 Request)
Employees: 166 (FY 2013 Estimate)
Official Website: http://jobcorps.gov
Job Corps
Jacobs-Simmons, Lenita
Administrator

Lenita Jacobs-Simmons was named administrator for Job Corps in November 2014. A program within the U.S. Department of Labor, Job Corps has trained and educated more than two million youths from disadvantaged backgrounds since its establishment in 1964. It currently provides annual assistance to 60,000 people, ages 16 to 24. Job Corps centers are operated by private companies which contract with the Department of Labor.

 

Born circa 1959, Jacobs-Simmons grew up in Philadelphia. Her official biography states that she graduated from Temple University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. However, she declined to provide AllGov with the years of her attendance, the nature of her degrees and the subjects in which she majored.

 

In South Carolina, Jacobs-Simmons served as grants administrator for the Charleston County government and executive director of the Trident Workforce Investment Board. In 1999, she joined the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) as deputy assistant secretary. In February 2002, she was named administrator of the Department of Labor and deputy assistant secretary for ETA’s field operations.

 

Jacobs-Simmons was subsequently named regional administrator for ETA’s Philadelphia office, which gave her responsibility for oversight of ETA programs administered in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Those programs included the Wagner Peyser Act, which connects job seekers with employers, the Workforce Investment Act and Unemployment Insurance. Jacobs-Simmons was responsible for management of nearly $2 billion in federal grants administered by more than 150 grantee organizations.

 

As Job Corps’ national director, Jacobs-Simmons oversees the program’s 125 centers throughout the United States.

-Danny Biederman

 

To Learn More

Audio Interview with Lenita Jacobs-Simmons (Tom Joyner Morning Show, BlackAmericaWeb.com)

Video Interview with Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, Part I (ResCare Workforce Services Network)

Video Interview with Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, Part II (ResCare Workforce Services Network)

Job Corps Facebook Page

Official Biography

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Primrose, Edna
Previous Administrator

A longtime job training executive, Edna Primrose has served as the national director of the Job Corps program since March 2010.

 
Primrose attended college at Towson University in Maryland, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration.
 
In 1984, she began her professional career with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE), a Job Corps National Training Contractor. Working her way from administrative assistant to program coordinator, she was chosen to lead the IUOE Job Corps Training Program as national director from 1997-2000.
 
In 2000, Primrose joined the National Office of Job Corps as its chief performance officer, directing the Division of Program Support and Accountability. She oversaw the performance assessment and measurement system for the program, establishing benchmarks and developing the infrastructure to comply with the Workforce Investment Act.
 
From 2003 to 2007, Primrose served as deputy center director of the Woodstock Job Corps Center and center director of the Woodland Job Corps Center, both in Maryland.
 
Prior to joining the Obama administration, she was executive director of policy development and staff training at Adams and Associates, Inc., a company that operates twelve Job Corps Centers in nine states.
 
Official Biography (Job Corps)
 
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