Archived Story

Jobs program a good start

Published 10:14pm Thursday, February 13, 2014

Being young and with the rest of your life ahead of you while having not much of a clue what to do with it can be daunting.

It can also be daunting if you know what you want to do, but not how to go about making it happen.

The transition from provided-for to provider — whether just for oneself or for a new family, as well — brings pressures that many young people deal with by distracting themselves with other things.

A lot of these distractions, which can be listed under the headings of “partying” and “generally goofing off,” do nothing to solve the underlying issue.

But a federal government program is here to help. Job Corps, which is coming to Suffolk for an information session on Feb. 20, helps young people overcome the hurdles and find fulltime work in a trade, go back to school to improve their qualifications, or enlist in the military.

The U.S Department of Labor career and technical education program is for low-income students ages 16 through 24. Participants attend a training center, where they learn a trade, then are paired with a career transition specialist to help them find a good job and also to keep it.

Like a lot of things, it’s about taking a stab and seeing what happens. You might not ever have dreamed of becoming, for instance, a welder, but jumping in with a program like Job Corps, giving it a shot, is a better plan than no plan.

Earlier this week, the program’s national director, Grace Kilbane, reeled off to a reporter a bunch of statistics that speak to the program’s success.

In the 12 months to June 30, 2013, she said, Job Corps graduated 70.8 percent of its students. Of those, 74.6 percent were placed: 60 percent in jobs, 13.5 percent in continuing higher education, and 1.1 percent in the military.

That translates to a lot of young people who are now contributing to society and building a future. The fact of the matter is, you cannot do nothing, and these folks all found something.

The information session starts at 9 a.m. at the Suffolk Workforce Development Center, 157 N. Main St., second floor, Suite D.

For more information, contact the Suffolk Workforce Development Center at 514-7730.

If you don’t think the program is for you, maybe after merely reading this you don’t know enough about it. Go to the session, learn more, then decide.

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