Job Corp: ‘Best kept secret’

Published 5:59 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Students get information about Job Corp applications and programs.

Unemployment for young adults could become a thing of the past if they choose to take advantage of “the best kept secret around” when it comes to training.
Melanie Miller makes monthly trips to Brewton to provide information and orientation for youth interested in training through Job Corp.
“Job Corp is such a wonderful program and I’m glad to offer the opportunity to people in this area,” Miller said. “I don’t understand why more people don’t take advantage of the program. It really is one of the best kept secrets around and we want to get the word out about the program.”
Miller said around 40 youth have already taken advantage of the program since she began making monthly trips to Brewton three months ago.
“Our first time here we had 23 people to come for information,” Miller said. “We’ve had two other sessions and I hope to be able to keep coming to Brewton.”
Job Corp is open to qualified applicants between the ages of 16 and 24 whether or not they have graduated high school.
“We have found that students who have graduated or earned a G.E.D. have better success with the program and can begin right away,” Miller said. “Those students who have not finished high school can do more of the education work at home and use their Job Corp years to become a qualified worker.”
The training opportunities are varied offering students a chance to become welders, nurses and a wide range of other career choices, Miller said.
“We have two students this month who will be joining Job Corp for training to become nurses,” Miller said. “Those students will be going to Muhlenberg, Kent., just outside of Nashville, Tenn. The program is completely funded and the training won’t cost them anything.”
Miller said Job Corp covers the cost of getting a student to their training site as well as a small allowance and even a bonus for graduating the program.
“Since the program is fully funded, we take care of a plane or bus ticket to get the student where they need to be for training,” Miller said. “We also cover uniforms and they get $25 every two weeks. At graduation from the program, students will receive $1,200.”
Miller said most students qualify for up to two years of training with some completing their training sooner.
“Our goal is to have a student armed with the skills they need to get a job once they complete the program,” Miller said. “We don’t get jobs for them, we just make sure they have the training and skills needed to go out and find a job for themselves.”
Miller said the purpose of her visits to Brewton is to give students in the area an opportunity to take advantage of what Job Corp has to offer without driving to Mobile to register for the program.
“Most students who have resources that would allow them to make that long drive to Mobile, don’t need what Job Corp has to offer,” Miller said. “We want to make this available to students who need training and skills they don’t have resources to get otherwise. Our whole purpose is to help students become educated and marketable through education and training. That marketability provides permanent financial independence. Becoming self-sufficient leads to freedom. That’s what Job Corp can do.”
Miller said educated females looking for a chance to learn a skill can quickly fill the training programs already in place with Job Corp.
“We are especially interested in females applying for the opportunities of Job Corp,” Miller said. “Females typically find placement quickly through the programs offered.”
Miller holds orientations each fourth Tuesday of the month at Hope Place in Brewton. The application and orientation process begins at 10 a.m. on scheduled days. The program is open to males and females between 16 and 24. Job Corp is a residential training program in place for America’s youth since 1964.  Job Corps provides a structured and disciplined living, learning and working environment with zero tolerance for drugs or violence.
For those interested in applying for Job Corp opportunities, specific documents are needed to complete the process. Miller said applying students should provide a birth certificate, an original social security card, a photo identification, immunization records, high school transcripts or diploma, GED certificate if applicable, if under 18, a school withdrawal form will be needed and other documents as required based on application information.
For details about Job Corp or for a schedule of application/orientation sessions in Brewton, contact Miller at 251-660-1301.

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