As former policymakers, we know that statistics are often times used to skew public opinion. And, in this case the sum of the parts does not equal the whole. The Washington Post used a single Job Corps campus’ weak performance to demonstrate that, as a whole, Job Corps’ model doesn’t work. In contrast, the Post published an article on Apr. 13 detailing a successful Job Corps campus.
National companies like CVS, CISCO, Fluor and Toyota and countless small, local businesses turn to Job Corps every day because they know what they are getting – trained and ready-to-work employees.
Let us set the record straight:
- While some dispute the conclusions of Job Corps’ last longitudinal study – conducted 20 years before Job Corps offered high school diplomas and industry-recognized credentials – the report’s own authors note that “Job Corps is the only large-scale education and training program shown to increase the earnings of disadvantaged youth.”
- A federal evaluation of various interventions for disconnected young Americans found that Job Corps had the most “significant impacts on participant educational achievement and earnings.”
- Students enrolled at one of 125 Job Corps campuses located across the U.S. are economically disadvantaged youth and must be living at or below 125% of federal poverty levels. Upon entry into Job Corps, participants typically have been earning $0.00/hr., and on average, Job Corps graduates earn upwards of $10.00+/hr.
- Over 70% of Job Corps participants earn a certificate or industry-recognized credential and successfully enter the world-of-work with the skills to make the right career and life choices.
- Job Corps students cannot have a criminal background and must be drug-free upon entry. Nearly 75% of our participants are high school dropouts and the average student reads at the 7th grade reading level. Most are from challenging and unstructured backgrounds.
Job Corps has earned our bipartisan support. Job Corps, time and time again, has proven itself to be innovative and adaptable by evolving to the changing needs of youth and employers.
The cornerstone of that malleable attitude is that local campuses are managed by private companies that competitively bid to operate a facility and must adhere to 16+ performance metrics. This model fosters competition and modernization to meet federal accountability standards. If a Job Corps campus is not performing, the Department of Labor has the authority to make a change.
Job Corps is crucial to maintaining a trained workforce, and we cannot afford to let one misleading article diminish 50 years of consistent success. More importantly, we cannot diminish the heroic efforts of more than 2 million youths who have been forever transformed by Job Corps.
Stand with us to support Job Corps!
Denny Rehberg and Earl Pomeroy