Washington, D.C. – The National Job Corps Association (NJCA) announced today the election of John S. Sparkman as the new Chair of their Board of Directors. Sparkman replaces outgoing Chair Richard Schubert.
A member of the NJCA Board since 2013, Sparkman previously chaired the Association’s Governance Committee.
“I’ve talked with many of our students and have listened to their personal stories of how Job Corps has made the difference in changing their lives. In many cases, it has helped them go from poverty and disadvantage to hope and self-sufficiency through the opportunity of stable, skilled jobs,” Sparkman said. “The Job Corps mission is more critical today than ever before.”
Founded in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Job Corps offers a comprehensive array of vocational and career development services to at-risk men and woman, ages 16 to 24. Since its inception, the Job Corps program has trained more than 3 million students from various socioeconomic backgrounds.
Through its network of 126 Job Corps campuses around the nation, the Association promotes the holistic career development training approach provided at local facilities in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
“Our members – the operators and supporters of centers across the country – are highly committed to ensuring that Job Corps remains the most successful residential, academic remediation and career preparation program for out-of-school, out-of-work youth,” Sparkman said.
A veteran of Capitol Hill, Sparkman served as chief of staff to two members of Congress after previously serving as legislative director and press secretary. Additionally, he oversaw statewide political campaigns in Ohio and New York. John was later nominated by the Governor of Maryland and confirmed by the state Senate to lead the Maryland Environmental Service, a state-owned corporation and independent agency of Maryland state government.
In the private sector, he opened and headed the Washington, D.C., government affairs office of PPL Corporation, a Fortune 300 international energy company, and prior to that he advocated for energy, environment and healthcare issues for Baltimore Gas and Electric Company.
A native of Kentucky, Sparkman is a graduate of Berea College and American University’s Graduate School of International Service. He is active in his church, where he chairs the Board of Elders and volunteers at Martha’s Table – a program that serves hot meals to the homeless in Washington, D.C.
“John has long been an important and vital member of the Job Corps family,” said Lonnie P. Taylor, the NJCA’s president and CEO. “We are confident that under his leadership, Job Corps will continue to make great strides in working for our young people, taxpayers, employers and communities.”
The National Job Corps Association, Inc. (NJCA) is a 501 (c)(6) professional trade association comprised of business, labor, volunteer, advocacy, academic and community organizations. NJCA was founded in 1998 by 38 charter member organizations consisting largely of the for-profit and non-profit contractors that operated the 126 Job Corps centers around the nation. Since 1998, the membership of the NJCA has more than doubled and grown to include employer and community partners. By uniting these stakeholders, the NJCA has strengthened the Job Corps through government relations, education and outreach, informing national policy, and outreach campaigns that increase the visibility of Job Corps.