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Job Corps

Job Corps
Agency overview
Formed 1964
Type Vocational Education
Jurisdiction United States
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Agency executive Grace Kilbane, Director
Parent department Department of Labor

Job Corps is a program administered by the United States Department of Labor that offers free-of-charge education and vocational training to young men and women ages 16 to 24.[1]

Mission and purpose

Job Corps' mission is to help young people ages 16 through 24 (soon to have an age cap of 28) improve the quality and satisfaction of their lives through vocational and academic training.[2]


Job Corps was initiated as the central program of the Johnson Administration's War on Poverty, part of his domestic agenda known as the Great Society. Sargent Shriver, the first Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, modeled the program on the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Established in the 1930s as an emergency relief program, the CCC provided room, board, and employment to thousands of unemployed young people. Though the CCC was discontinued after World War II, Job Corps built on many of its methods and strategies.[citation needed][original research?]

The current national director of the Office of Job Corps is Tina Terrell.[3] The Job Corps program is currently authorized under Title I-C of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.[4]

Since its inception in 1964 under the Economic Opportunity Act, Job Corps has served more than 1.9 million young people.[5] Job Corps serves approximately 60,000 youths annually at Job Corps Centers throughout the country.[6]


A person is eligible for Job Corps if he or she meets the following criteria:[7]

  • Is a legal U.S. resident; lawfully admitted permanent resident alien, refugee, asylee, or parolee, or other immigrant who has been authorized by the U.S. attorney general to work in the United States; or resident of a U.S. territory.
  • Meets low-income criteria.
  • Is in need of additional technical training, education, counseling, or related assistance to complete schoolwork or to find and keep a job.
  • Has signed consent from a parent or guardian if he or she is a minor.
  • Has a child care plan if he or she is the parent of a dependent child.
  • Does not exhibit behavioral problems that could keep him, her, or others from experiencing Job Corps’ full benefits.
  • Does not require any face-to-face court or institutional supervision or court-imposed fines while enrolled in Job Corps.
  • Does not use drugs illegally.

Phases of career development

Applicants to the Job Corps program are identified and screened for eligibility by organizations contracted by the U.S. Department of Labor.[8] Each student in the Job Corps goes through four stages of the program:[9]

Outreach and Admissions (OA): This is the stage at which students visit admissions counselors and gather information, as well as prepare for and leave for their Job Corps Centers.[10] Transportation is provided to and from the centers by Job Corps.

Career Preparation Period (CPP): This stage focuses on the assimilation of the student into the center, academic testing, health screening, and instruction on resume building and job search skills. Students are instructed on computer literacy, employability, and center life. This phase lasts for the first 30 days on center.[11]

Career Development Period (CDP): This period is where the student receives all vocational training, drivers' education, academic instruction, and preparation for life outside of Job Corps, i.e. a repeat of CPP with an actual job search.[12]

Career Transition Readiness (CTR): The period immediately after the student graduates. Career Transition Specialists outside the center assist in the graduate's job search and arrangement of living accommodations, transportation, and family support resources.[13]

Career paths

The following Career Technical Training programs are offered by Job Corps. However, Job Corps continually adjusts program offerings in response to labor market demand, so the below list may not been fully complete or current.[14]


There are a total of 125 Job Corps centers, including at least one in every state except New Hampshire and Wyoming, one in Washington, D.C. and three in Puerto Rico.[15]

There are seven Regional Offices of Job Corps:[16]

  • Atlanta Region
  • Boston Region
  • Chicago Region
  • Dallas Region
  • Philadelphia Region
  • San Francisco Region
  • Wisconsin region


In Program Year 2012, approximately 75 percent of Job Corps’ graduates were placed. Slightly more than 60 percent joined the workforce or enlisted in the military, while 13.5 percent of Job Corps’ graduates enrolled in education programs.[17] CBS This Morning reported in October 2014 that some Job Corps centers have been accused of falsifying job placements and student training, as well as ignoring violence and drug abuse.[18]

Notable Job Corps members


  1. "What Is Job Corps?". Job Corps. September 25, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  2. "About Job Corps". 2013-03-20. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  3. "Job Corps Administrator". Job Corps. July 17, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  4. "Statutory Authority". Job Corps. January 27, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  5. "Job Corps". CareerSource Pinella. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  6. "Program Assessment: Job Corps". Office of Management and Budget. January 16, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  8. "Program Administration". Job Corps. January 27, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  9. "How Job Corps Works". 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2014-05-19. 
  10. "How Job Corps Works: Outreach and Admissions". Job Corps. January 27, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  11. "How Job Corps Works: Career Preparation Period". Job Corps. January 27, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  12. "How Job Corps Works: Career Development Period". Job Corps. January 27, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  13. "How Job Corps Works: Career Transition Period". Job Corps. January 27, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  14. "Job Corps: What Careers Can I Choose From?". Job Corps. December 8, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  15. "Center Locations". Job Corps. August 14, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  16. "Contact Job Corps". Job Corps. August 14, 2009. Retrieved January 6, 2010. 
  18. "Federal government Job Corps program investigation raises questions about effectiveness". 22 October 2014. 

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