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by | Nov 30, 2023 | Insider Newsletter

Job Corps Insider Newsletter – November 2023

Job Corps Insider Newsletter – November 2023

November 2023 Edition

Our President’s Message

Dear Members and Job Corps Community Partners,

It was a pleasure seeing so many of you at our Fall Leadership Summit! The opportunity to meet face-to-face to discuss topics critical to Job Corps campuses and our students on Day 1, followed by deep-dive discussion of our NJCA mission, value proposition and priorities on Day 2, were truly invaluable. Initial feedback from attendee surveys show that, overwhelmingly, those who joined found value in diverse sessions that ranged from a Fireside Chat with Brent Parton, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Employment and Training Administration, and Erin McGee, Acting National Director, to the NJCA Year in Review and 2024 Preview, and felt that the conference fostered a sense of community among attendees.

As 2023 quickly draws to a close, 2024 holds both opportunities and challenges that are best faced together. As one attendee wrote in feedback:

“There is strength in numbers and it is critical the NJCA operations continue to pull us together and be our voice to policy makers and to DOL to better understand really what we do.”

Another opined:

“We all share many of the same issues and the only way to make true progress is to move forward together.”

Our team at the NJCA office couldn’t agree more. In the weeks ahead, we will continue compiling and synthesizing the many ideas, strategies and potential outcomes identified by conference attendees, as we work toward the development of a three-year strategic plan on which we will collaborate with the Board and critical committees. We are confident this work will position us well for the future, and we remain grateful for the deep commitment you show not only to your campuses but to the entire Job Corps program and all our students.

Keep on keeping on,

Donna Hay
President and CEO,
National Job Corps Association


2023 NJCA Fall Leadership Summit: November 1-2, Alexandria, VA

(Left to right) Brent Parton, Acting Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor; Erin McGee, Acting National Director, Office of Job Corps, U.S. Department of Labor; Donna Hay, President and CEO, National Job Corps Association

Donna Hay, President and CEO, National Job Corps Association

Government Affairs Update:
FY24 Appropriations
Congressional leaders are racing to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government before the end of the current CR on November 17. As a result, the final negotiations for the fiscal year (FY) 2024 funding bills, including Job Corps’ funding, are further delayed.

The most recent plan to fund the government is a short-term CR proposed by new Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) that passed the House of Representatives yesterday. The CR funds four of the appropriations bills through mid-January of next year while the eight remaining bills, including Job Corps’ funding bill, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) bill, would be funded through the beginning of February, all at their FY23 levels. This would allow for time for House and Senate leadership to either pass and conference their respective appropriations bills or negotiate any year-end omnibus spending bills. The CR which passed the House is likely to receive consideration and pass the Senate prior to the expiration of funds. 

Given the timing of the new CR, Job Corps’ FY24 funding levels will likely not be determined before the new year. As a reminder, the Senate funded Job Corps at its FY23 levels while the House eliminated Job Corps in its Labor-HHS bill. However, neither of the Labor-HHS bills that were introduced in the House and Senate have passed their respective chambers.  As currently written, the FY24 House Labor-HHS bill has no chance of becoming law nor is it remotely reflective of the broad, bipartisan support for Job Corps in Congress.  

The NJCA and the Government Affairs Committee will continue to work with congressional leaders and allies to ensure Job Corps receives sufficient funding in FY24.

Partner of the Quarter:
Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps

In our ongoing efforts to recognize and celebrate the invaluable support from our Job Corps employer and community partners, we are thrilled to shine the spotlight on the Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps Partner of the Quarter – Mr. Sean Fontno, Post Secondary Coach/Counselor of The Collins Academy STEAM Magnet High School. 


Mr. Fontno has been a dedicated collaborator with The Paul Simon Chicago Job Corps Center for approximately 5 months. During this time, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to helping young people succeed. What sets Mr. Fontno apart is not just his referrals of potential students to Job Corps, but his hands-on involvement in their journey. He goes above and beyond by driving them to our campus and guiding them through every step, from initial inquiries to signing up for the program. His advocacy extends beyond his immediate responsibilities, making him a true champion of Job Corps.

Furthermore, Mr. Fontno’s dedication is not limited to his direct involvement with students. He has been instrumental in ensuring that Job Corps is represented at The Collins Academy STEAM Magnet High School’s career fairs, creating additional opportunities to reach prospective students and make a positive impact on their futures.


The Chicago Job Corps Center and NJCA are immensely proud to have Mr. Sean Fontno and partners like him who embody the spirit of collaboration, support, and advocacy that are essential to the success of the Job Corps. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to the Job Corps’ mission!


Stay tuned for more stories of dedication and partnership as we continue to showcase our Employer and Community Partners!

Alumni of the Quarter:
North Texas Job Corps


Meet Cami Shimakonis, a 2023 graduate and North Texas Job Corps Alumni of the Quarter. During her time with Job Corps, Cami not only mastered the Patient Care Technician (PCT) track, EKG, and Phlebotomy, but also emerged as a leader, serving in roles such as Sgt at Arms and Wing Chief in her dorm, as well as Diversity Officer and a leader in the LGBTQ+ Club. Currently enrolled in Advanced Training for LPN at the Blue Ridge JCC in Marion, VA, Cami credits Job Corps for providing the essential skills needed for her real-world career. Her post-Job Corps life reflects a clear and purposeful path forward, guided by the mantra, “Remember why you are here and don’t let anything distract you from your goals.”

New Workforce Outreach Toolkit

As Job Corps centers position themselves as Infrastructure Academies across the country, increased workforce and community outreach is important to the success of this initiative.

The Workforce Outreach Toolkit is now available to help centers make connections and plan engaging events with audiences such as employers, workforce boards and community organizations. The toolkit is designed to walk Job Corps staff step-by-step through how to host a successful event, including providing planning resources and marketing materials.

There is one remaining training session this month for Job Corps staff to learn about the new resources. Click to register: Tuesday, Nov. 28, 1:30 p.m. CDT

Call for Student Voices

We’re looking for exceptional Job Corps students to be highlighted in video interviews and on social media! Have someone in mind? Email sgreen@njcaweb.org.

Member’s Favorite Gratitude Quote

 Brendan O’Hara, Vice President, Government Affairs; Donna Hay, President and CEO; Anand Vimalassery, Policy Adivsor; Randi Reid, KDCR Partners; and Stacy Y. Green, Director, Operations/Administration

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