The Albuquerque Council for International Visitors (ACIV) is a non profit all volunteer organization that works under the auspices of the U.S. State Department and the sending agencies they contract with. The ACIV arranged appointments for a group of 14 visitors from Saudi Arabia plus 3 English Language Officers to visit the Albuquerque area last week. The visitors were selected by the U.S. Embassy in their country to come to the United States for a 3 week visit. These visitors were invited to the United States under the auspices of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program to visit and study at risk youth programs in the United States. Their program is arranged by the Mississippi Consortium for International Development (MCID). Albuquerque is only one of the cities they will visit on their three work tour of the US.
The Albuquerque Job Corps Center is one of several youth organizations that the group visited but is the only Job Corps Center they will see. We held an introduction to the Job Corps program by hosting a reception in our Escalera Room with our Program department heads. This broad introductory overview of the Job Corps program included things such as program history, mission, structure/operations, eligibility, programs (academic and other), impacts, and the type of students that Job Corps serves. One of the main purposes of the meeting was to provide an example of a federal program for youth as it is administered at the local level. This program overview sparked many interesting questions from our visitors as they learned how complex this program is in working with our “At promise” youth which helps them prepare for careers by providing them a GED, High school Diploma and/or academic competencies to help them in their Career training in one of the many programs we offer. We also discussed our career transition services for our students which helps them get and keep a job in their area of study at a good wage. They were most surprised that we were a residential program and that high school diplomas were not a mandated by law for all youth in the US. Interesting was a comment as to how we faired in this economy and we were proud to say that we were above the national average in our students getting good jobs at good wages and they also asked if the students had to pay back the money if they dropped the program…hum. All of this had to go through an interpreter but we all faired very well. Additionally we had KOB TV show up and they featured us on their 6:00 news.
The visitors had expressed a keen interest in interacting with the students at the Albuquerque Job Corps Center. Scott Lente – Kasero, a welding student that served as the foreman for the G-20 Summit globe project helped with the tour and spoke to our guests about his experiences here at the center. They were able to tour the LEED Dorm and the Career Technical Training (CTT) area before their time ran out. Designated student leaders were in each area of the center to greet the guests. Student foremen and leaders provided a brief overview of each Career Technical Training area; and our LEEDS Gold certified dorm. The event was an opportunity for cultural sharing and exchange for all students and staff involved. It was very exciting event for AJCC as we went “global.” Who knows, as the world is flat…there might be a job out there for one of our students with Fluor, and we would have friends out there now, wouldn’t we?