News Release

Department of Labor’s Job Corps to highlight importance of mental health, combatting violence, drug use during Youth 2 Youth Week 2024

Student-led campaign coincides with Mental Health Awareness month

WASHINGTON – The Department of Labor today announced that Job Corps centers across the nation will host events and other activities from May 20-24 to promote positive mental health and create supportive environments where students can discuss their mental health issues and seek solutions. 

Coinciding with May’s designation as Mental Health Awareness month, Job Corps centers are hosting these events during Youth 2 Youth Week 2024, focused on Job Corps’ student-led Y2Y initiative that seeks to combat violence and drug use and support mental health on campuses.

“Since its founding in 1964, Job Corps has responded to changing trends, and an innovation like the Youth 2 Youth program is a shining example of that evolution,” explained Acting National Job Corps Director Erin McGee. “Educational institutions like Job Corps centers understand that students’ mental health must always be an important focus. The Youth 2 Youth Initiative gives our students the chance to connect with each other and share best practices for addressing mental health concerns.”

In 2023, the department’s Office of Job Corps reimagined the Y2Y program with more than 300 students – from more than 120 Job Corps centers – serving as their campus’s student ambassadors. Y2Y groups encourage Job Corps students to attend open meetings where they talk about their daily challenges and work together to create positive, supportive environments for all on campus. 

Y2Y Week events will include group activities such as gardening; multicultural gatherings promoting native foods, clothing and arts; and a competition for participants to create banners focused on peace, unity and mental health. 

“Typically, students are more comfortable talking with peers, which makes a student-led program like Youth 2 Youth so important and valuable,” added McGee. “We’ve seen our students take part in some very serious conversations about mental health. Their clear concern for one another shows how Job Corps has helped these young people develop the maturity and social skills they need to be successful.” 

Marking its 60th anniversary, Job Corps is a federal career technical and education program for eligible young people who aspire to higher education and good jobs. Administered by the Department of Labor, the program has more than 120 residential and non-residential locations across America. Job Corps provides hands-on career skills training, healthcare and job search assistance to students. Job Corps offers expedited enrollment for eligible young adults experiencing homelessness.

Employment and Training Administration
May 14, 2024
Release Number
Media Contact: Monica Vereen
Share This