US Department of Labor announces virtual Job Corps’ enrollment, 60-day ‘Career Preparation Period’ to serve needs of nation’s at-risk youth
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the launch of virtual enrollment to support the expansion of student participation in 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 provides new students the opportunity for a virtual orientation during the pandemic to Job Corps and its educational offerings, career planning and student assessments. 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 largest job training and education program for low-income young adults ages 16–24. It is a mostly residential program, located in both 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 largest nationwide residential career-training program in the country. Currently, there are 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 to complete their high school education, trains them for meaningful careers and assists them with obtaining employment. Job Corps has trained and educated over two million individuals since 1964.