South Bronx Job Corps Community Partner Praises Program Which Hits Close to Home

Video Recorded Before COVID-19 Pandemic

Preparing students for gainful employment is the goal of all Job Corps centers including the South Bronx center in New York City. One of the ways South Bronx successfully prepares students for jobs is through partnerships like the one they have with Mid-Bronx Council Services.

“The relationship is fantastic,” says Oliver Perry who’s the director of workforce development, job resource center, and youth services. “I’ll be very honest with you. We’ve had an eight-year relationship.” 

Mid-Bronx Council Services gives South Bronx students internship opportunities and even hires some as full-time employees.

“We’ve worked with them in the field of maintenance, custodial maintenance, security.”

Oliver says his organization is focused on workforce development and getting young people in successful careers. He loves Job Corps.

“What I have found is it is a program that really addresses total needs of each of the youngsters. So, it’s a wholistic approach.”

Oliver says without programs like Job Corps, a lot of at-risk youth would be stuck.

“We have youngsters in our community who are not work-ready; don’t’ have an idea of where they would like to take themselves in the next few years.”

For Oliver, Job Corps hits close to home.

“I have a son, who because of his missteps, was not doing the right things. And he got into trouble.”

But then his son enrolled at a Job Corps center in Upstate New York. He graduated and is now attending the College of Staten Island.

“So, this is the kind of product. You know, I was having a difficult time with him. But this is the kind of product that Job Corps produces. It turned him around. It slowed him down, turned him around. And so, it’s personal with me as well. It’s personal as well as professional. Job Corps gives them a proper foundation, a railing that they can grab a hold onto and guide themselves through. They have great teachers. They have great trades. And I’m not just trying to build them up. I’m speaking from the heart. This is my experience with the program. What I’m most impressed by is the final product: how kids walk away from this program having earned several skill sets. It is fantastic.”