Turner Job Corps gives more young people a chance at a successful career path
The Turner Job Corps Center in Albany, Georgia has just expanded its technical training programs. The center partners with the International Union of Operating Engineers National Training Fund (IUOE NTF) to provide several training programs in the heavy construction field.
“It’s exciting to see these new opportunities for our students,” says Keith Taylor who teaches heavy equipment mechanics.
The Turner center has doubled its heavy equipment mechanics programs adding one new instructor and 16 additional training slots.
“We’ve also greatly expanded work-based learning opportunities for students,” adds Keith. “We now have 14 sites where students are on the job practicing their skills and learning new skills. Of those 14 sites, one is a registered apprenticeship program where students are paid. The apprenticeship program lasts two to four years and gives students excellent training opportunities as they begin their new career.”
One of the center’s partnerships is with the city of Albany, Georgia which includes apprenticeship opportunities.
“Our heavy equipment mechanic students,” says Keith, “work with the city’s fleet maintenance department. It’s been a great partnership! Students recently removed lights and other emergency devices from old police cars and installed them on the new fleet of vehicles. These types of opportunities make our students very valuable to future employers.”
The Turner center and IUOE NTF partner to provide students training in four primary areas: heavy equipment mechanics, heavy equipment operations, advanced asphalt paving, and commercial driver’s license.
The IUOE NTF heavy equipment mechanics programs are the only programs among all 126 Job Corps centers to provide equipment computerized engine control training across the nation.
Turner Job Corps is also home to the only IUOE NTF-operated advanced asphalt paving program in the country. The advanced program is taught by IUOE Local 474 member Courtney Turner and requires a more rigorous training and evaluation platform than any other heavy equipment training program in Job Corps. Students enrolled in this program are required to complete performance testing on a minimum of three types of heavy equipment, as well as earn a Georgia state-accredited Class B Commercial Driver’s License prior to graduation. Over the past two years, the program has placed nine graduates at five IUOE local apprenticeship programs across the country.
Another benefit of the center’s partnership with IUOE NTF is that they constantly evaluate their programs to ensure they’re providing the most up-to-date training possible. IUOE NTF staff review and update equipment, tools, and curriculum in order to meet the training needs of the ever-changing construction and mechanic industries.