By: Rep. Hubert Collins
August 28, 2012
PRESTONSBURG — Carl D. Perkins Job Corps Center joined the 125 Job Corps centers across the country to celebrate the second annual “National Job Corps Commencement Day” ceremony Aug. 24, to congratulate the Job Corps students who completed the program this year.
Recent Job Corps graduates employed in Kentucky, employer partners, local policymakers, community leaders, family members and many more recognized these students’ achievements and the investment they made in their futures and our community.
Carl D. Perkins is one of 125 Job Corps centers located across the country and in all 50 states. A unique national program, Job Corps offers at-risk youth a set of diverse academic opportunities and career pathways tailored to meet the needs of business and industry. Each year, Job Corps gives 60,000 youth a second chance to complete their education and advance into careers, higher education or the military.
Mark Shriver, author of “A Good Man: Rediscovering My Father, Sargent Shriver,” served as the national keynote speaker for the event. Shriver, the son of Job Corps founder Sargent Shriver, congratulated the 60,000 students who graduated from Job Corps this year.
“Job Corps is a great investment for the American people,” Shriver said in a special nationwide video address delivered in front of the United States Capitol. “Your commitment and dedication to get good-paying jobs make Job Corps the most successful federal training program serving your age group.”
Job Corps, the nation’s most effective career preparation program for at-risk youth, has been vital to the success of many young people with few options since it was founded almost 50 years ago, Shriver said.
“That’s why we need Job Corps for 50 MORE years – to continue helping young people like you who may not have the same opportunities others have had but are willing to work hard to overcome their obstacles,” he told the students.
Job Corps has served more than 3 million out-of-work young adults and underserved youth nationally. Many are high-school dropouts or public-assistance recipients, and Job Corps helps them become active contributors to their communities.
Local business leaders attended the ceremony at Carl D. Perkins Job Corps to support a program that benefits the local economy. The average Job Corps center supports 228 local jobs and every dollar invested in Job Corps returns almost $2 to the local economy. Nationally, the 125 Job Corps centers support about 30,000 jobs, the vast majority of which are with private businesses.
Local community members that have worked with Job Corps volunteers also joined the celebration to congratulate many of their student volunteers. Job Corps students and staff work with local community-based organizations and nonprofits, logging many hours of volunteer service every year. For example, Carl D. Perkins students work with BSTCC, City of Prestonsburg, Sr. Citizens, and many other organizations to provide needed services to our community.
Shriver ended his video address by passing along advice from his father: “Just keep working hard. Something good will happen.”