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News Release

Job Corps launches pilot to increase college readiness, retention in partnership with The Tom Joyner Foundation

Students from Texas, Mississippi centers to receive mentoring, tuition support

WASHINGTON The Job Corps program and national non-profit the Tom Joyner Foundation have entered into an innovative pilot partnership to help prepare students achieve greater success in college, the U.S. Department of Labor announced today.

Approximately 60 students from the Gary Job Corps center in San Marcos, Texas, and the Mississippi Job Corps center in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, will receive intensive college preparation, mentorship and one year of tuition-free education at partnering Historically Black Colleges and Universities or partnering community colleges through Job Corps. These young people, ages 16 through 24, will then continue their education in a supportive environment with the aid of the Joyner network.

“Job Corps has a long track record of helping students from the most vulnerable backgrounds overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers and giving them an opportunity to achieve their dreams,” said Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, national director of Job Corps. “With its close ties to America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the Tom Joyner Foundation is an ideal partner to prepare our students to succeed in a college environment.”

Thomas Joyner, Jr., the Foundation’s president and CEO, said, “We’re very excited about this partnership. This program really ties in with our foundation’s mission to help students succeed at HBCUs, and make sure they’re prepared for jobs when they graduate.”

While more than half of college students graduate within six years, the completion rate for low-income students is around 25 percent. This pilot will help to bridge this attainment gap by providing comprehensive wrap-around services focused on both academic and personal success. These services include: individual academic assessments; remedial coursework; tutoring, development of academic and social plans; college enrollment navigation assistance; financial aid navigation assistance; mentoring; internship opportunities;, and additional community support during their first year of college. Through the program, students will pursue careers in public education and science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Participants from the Gary center will enroll in Huston-Tillotson University or Austin Community College, while participants from the Mississippi center will enroll in Tougaloo College or Hinds Community College. The partnership will measure the pilot program’s success based on the program’s ability to enroll and retain students throughout a two-or four-year college experience. Scheduled to begin this month, the pilot will operate through 2019.

Administered by the department since 1964, Job Corps is a no-cost education program that helps young people improve the quality of their lives through vocational and academic training.

Founded in 1998, the Tom Joyner Foundation’s mission is to support HBCUs with scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements. The foundation has provided necessary support to every existing HBCU in its 18-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, it has helped raise $65 million to support more than 29,000 students attending HBCUs. Additionally, the foundation has recommended internships and has offered matching grant support and career development to deserving students.

Employment and Training Administration
November 3, 2016
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Contact: Egan Reich
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