By Holly Wise
Killeen Daily Herald
Job Corps staff were on hand in the parking lot outside their One Killeen Center office Thursday to answer questions during a meet-and-greet session aimed at creating awareness about the organization's role in the community.
Job Corps, defined as a comprehensive career technical training program, is aimed at students ages 16 to 24 wanting to pursue career technical training or advance to college, according to information provided. Students who do not have a high school diploma are encouraged to get one through the A. Edward Gary High School on the Job Corps campus.
The Gary Job Corps training center is in San Marcos and students typically live on the campus while completing their training. There are currently 1,660 students at the center, Job Corps business community liaison Randolph Goodman said.
"It prepares you for the real life and beginning out there on your own," Job Corps graduate Tony Williams said, adding that the program teaches participants "how to stand on your own two feet."
"They're going to give you a door and if you want, you have to get it," he said.
Williams graduated in March from the Gary Job Corps Center as a certified machinist. He currently works at Fort Hood and recently applied for acceptance into the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin.
Williams said he saw Job Corps advertised on TV.
"It seemed like a chance where I could have success in my life," he said.
There are multiple opportunities offered for students at Job Corps, including vocational training in construction and manufacturing, health services, human services and information technology.
"We try to tailor our approach to each students' needs," said Job Corps career transition services manager Clifton Evans. "We help them in their next step."
The training is labor-market driven, Goodman said. Programs that are not needed because of failing labor markets are deleted.
Goodman said the program is designed to give students an opportunity to learn a vocational skill and enter the workforce.
"A lot of students are free falling," he said. "This is a parachute."
For more information or to speak to a Job Corps recruiter, call (254) 768-7403.
Contact Holly Wise at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7555.