Small cohorts of new students may participate in the program by enrolling virtually and completing their 60-day Career Preparation Period of training online instead of reporting directly to Job Corps’ campuses.
BY ANN SHERMAN-WHITE, M.ED., Pinellas County Job Corps, Business Community Liaison and Student Government Association Advisor
PINELLAS COUNTY — The U.S. Department of Labor announced the launch of virtual enrollment to support the expansion of student participation in Pinellas County Job Corps’ education and technical skills training program.
Now, small cohorts of new students may participate in the program by enrolling virtually and completing their 60-day Career Preparation Period of training online instead of reporting directly to Job Corps’ campuses.
Nearly 90 percent of the Job Corps centers in the U.S. have resumed on-campus operations. Centers continue to operate at less than full occupancy to ensure coronavirus protections are in place, such as social distancing.
Since March 2020, when the pandemic forced the nation’s centers to suspend new student enrollment, approximately 20,000 young adults have applied to Job Corps. Its students are low-income youth with barriers to employment.
While most students choose to enroll and then begin academic and skills training in person at a Job Corps center, the online enrollment and Career Preparation Period provide new students the opportunity for a virtual orientation during the pandemic. After participating online for 60 days, their chosen Job Corps center will fully integrate them into a residential setting to begin academic classes and job skills instruction.
“As our nation continues to reopen safely, Job Corps is offering added flexibility in the enrollment and orientation processes as the program returns to normal operations,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training Suzi LeVine. “Programs like Job Corps are essential for the millions of young adults we estimate were not connected to the nation’s workforce or in school in 2020.”
Job Corps is the nation’s most extensive job training and education program for low-income young adults ages 16–24. It is a primarily residential program, located in urban and rural areas, with dormitories and a campus environment similar to small colleges.
Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, Job Corps is the country’s largest nationwide residential career-training program. Currently, 121 Job Corps centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
The program helps eligible young people from ages 16 through 24 complete their high school education, trains them for meaningful careers, and assists them with obtaining employment. Job Corps has trained and educated more than two million individuals since 1964.
Pinellas County referrals to Job Corps can be made by calling Admissions Counselor Patrick Little at 727-551-2981or registering online at www.jobcorps.gov.