Job Corps Centers celebrate 50 years

Edison Job Corps staff members Jenny Wang and Csaba Rusk pose with a cardboard cutout of President Barack Obama at the EJCC “All White Affair” to celebrate Job Corps 50th Anniversary.

Edison Job Corps staff members Jenny Wang and Csaba Rusk pose with a cardboard cutout of President Barack Obama at the EJCC “All White Affair” to celebrate Job Corps 50th Anniversary.

NATIONWIDE (September 17, 2014) — Job Corps turns 50 this year and ResCare Job Corps centers nationwide are taking the time to recognize and celebrate the golden anniversary. In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson started Job Corps as part of his war on poverty. Currently serving as one of the largest job training programs for low-income youth in America, Job Corps has a lot to celebrate.

Edison Job Corps

Edison Job Corps Center symbolized the fresh start Job Corps has provided to the many students who have completed the program over the years by hosting an “All White Affair” in their gymnasium. An outdoor barbeque kicked off the event which included guest speakers, a dance contest and students posing with a life-sized photo of President Obama. Over 300 students and staff members also enjoyed an appearance from a New York area Urban Reality show performer.

“It is so important to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Job Corps,” Edison Job Corps Center Deputy Director Windy White stated. “It helps highlight the rich history of the Job Corps program to our students, staff and community in a fun way.”

Ms. White deemed the event a great success and plans to explore other means of celebrating Job Corps milestones in the future.

Acosta Job Corps

Acosta Job Corps Center Life Specialist Paul Harris, far left, and Career Exploration Specialist Cristobal Barajas, far right, performed “A Little Help From My Friends” at the Acosta Job Corps Center 50th Anniversary kick-off assembly.

Acosta Job Corps Center Life Specialist Paul Harris, far left, and Career Exploration Specialist Cristobal Barajas, far right, performed “A Little Help From My Friends” at the Acosta Job Corps Center 50th Anniversary kick-off assembly.

Acosta Job Corps Center decided to go with a “1964” theme to celebrate both the year Job Corps began and when the Civil Rights Bill was signed. The theme served as a history lesson for the students by providing them examples of how young people could be effective change makers. The week began with a kick-off assembly with 60’s inspired music from staff members and a speech from Mayor of Tucson Jonathan Rothschild. Mid-week, 150 Job Corps alumni gathered at the center to share testimonials with the students, reminisce over old photos and take a tour of the center.

At the end of the week, over 600 people gathered for Job Corps Graduation day. After the ceremony, 40 students received high honors at an honor society reception. Acosta Job Corps Center Director Carld Rosborough‘s highlight from the entire week-long celebration came after all the events had concluded.

“A parent of a student who had just graduated came up to me and expressed her gratitude for how far her daughter had come since she began at Job Corps,” Ms. Rosborough explained. “She was so proud of what the center had done for her and her family. I was honored to pay it forward to all the families and our community.”

Old Dominion Job Corps Center staff served students during the Staff and Student Appreciation Luncheon.

Old Dominion Job Corps Center staff served students during the Staff and Student Appreciation Luncheon.

Old Dominion Job Corps

Old Dominion Job Corps Center hosted several events during a week-long celebration but especially enjoyed Staff and Student Appreciation Day. Three department directors assumed roles as “chefs” for a day, grilling hamburgers for all. Staff and students then competed in an academic Olympic competition and played games together the entire afternoon.

Homestead Job Corps

Frank Balzebre, right, Office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, presents Proclamation to Luis Cerezo, HJCC Center Director.

Frank Balzebre, right, Office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, presents Proclamation to Luis Cerezo, HJCC Center Director.

Celebrations began a little earlier this year at Homestead Job Corps Center which hosted events throughout March. Along with luncheons, guest speakers and community service activities, the center received several Proclamations. Frank Balzebre, a representative from the office of Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, presented Center Director Luis Cerezo with a Proclamation naming March 13, 2014 as Job Corps 50th Anniversary Day. Miami-Dade County School Board Vice Chair Dr. Larry Feldman also presented a Ceremonial Proclamation to Mr. Cerezo as well as an Exemplary Medal of Honor to the center’s Student Government Association President Leondra Edwards for her outstanding leadership.

Labor Secretary Thomas Perez shared his praises of Job Corps in a radio interview with NPR host Kelly McEvers. “I’ve spoken to so many employers across this country who rely on Job Corps for their pipeline,” Mr. Perez stated. “So we’re making sure that, just as in our workforce system, everything we do is demand-driven – giving people skills that are relevant to today’s economy. That’s exactly what we’re doing in Job Corps, as well.”

To listen to the NPR story click here.

Author: Amanda Bennett