Why U.S. Congressional Leaders Support Job Corps

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Members of the House Education and Workforce Committee recently met to discuss the Job Corps program. Members on both sides of the aisle recognized the great value that Job Corps plays throughout the country. Ranking member of the committee, Bobby Scott of Virginia, began by stressing the significant advantages that trained Job Corps graduates have over low-skilled workers. Read below or click above to find out what these congressional leaders think about Job Corps.

Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-Virginia)

“I’m sure if you’re running a shipyard and have a choice between someone who’s been working a low-skilled job or someone who has a welding certificate and knows how to weld, there’s no question you’d obviously pick the welder for that nice paying job rather than the person who’s been working in a low-skilled job…Let’s be clear, as we’ve heard from both sides, these young people, some of the hardest to serve young people, are a lot better off in the program than in the trajectory that they would have been on had it not been for Job Corps.”

Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D-Oregon)

“Oftentimes we see that the data show that students are safer at Job Corps than out in the community. And that’s certainly true with some of my Job Corps centers I have in Oregon. Students are earning a whole range of credentials and practical skills including carpentry and seamanship—Astoria is on the beautiful Oregon Coast—culinary arts, office administration, a whole range of possibilities and really opening up those opportunities for them.”

Representative Lou Barletta (R-Pennsylvania)

“As the Republican Chair of the Job Corps Caucus, I have long been supportive of the program. The Keystone Job Corps Center operates in my district, and during my time as mayor of Hazleton, PA, I have witnessed the good things that Job Corps can do for these young adults that traditional educational systems could not. I’ve also seen the local partnerships that the Keystone center has developed and the tremendous benefits that those relationships have had on my local area.”

Representative Frederica Wilson (D-Florida)

“You’re testifying about something that is very close to my heart—Job Corps. And I’ve had experience with Job Corps since I was a very young woman. My sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, operated the Cleveland Job Corps for 30 years. And I was involved in that operation. The safety nets that the government has put in place and the few things that we do have for these children, one of them that I’ve tried to champion is Job Corps. And Job Corps is one of the best-kept secrets in this nation. And if more people knew the good that Job Corps does—the more support Job Corps would get.”

Representative Tom Garrett (R-Virginia) 

“I am a vociferous advocate for the good work done by Job Corps. My contention is that inherent to American citizenship is the right to have an opportunity, and that Job Corps creates opportunity for young people in circumstances wherein often that opportunity is too difficult to find…I think there’s near consensus that Job Corps in an effective and excellent program that extends opportunities to young people who might have been born amongst the least fortunate of us.”

Representative Adriano Espaillat (D-New York)

 “This is a great program; one of the few programs that has survived since the 60s…this particular program, the Job Corps program, I think is an example of what we can do for the people that we represent; what the government can do, how government can be a force of good.”

Representative Mark Takano (D-California)

“It’s quite remarkable that you [Job Corps] are, these students are leaving the program with the ability to go straight into a job. That’s quite remarkable.”