Blue Ridge Job Corps Students, Staff, Supporters Celebrate 9th Annual National Job Corps Commencement Day
Blue Ridge Job Corps joined 123 Job Corps centers across the country to celebrate the 9th Annual “National Job Corps Commencement Day” ceremony on August 23, 2019 to congratulate the Job Corps students who showed Job Corps Works! by completing the program this year.
Recent Job Corps graduates employed in Virginia, employer partners, local policymakers, community leaders, family members and many others recognized these students’ achievements and the investment they made in their futures and community.
“Blue Ridge Job Corps changed my life,” said Laken Shaffer, Medical Records Coordinator at Smyth County Family Physicians, who is a former Blue Ridge graduate, and keynote speaker during the ceremony. “It can change your life too.”
Blue Ridge Job Corps is one of 123 Job Corps centers located across the country. A unique national program, Job Corps offers underserved youth a set of diverse academic opportunities and career pathways tailored to meet the needs of business and industry. Each year, Job Corps gives tens of thousands of youth a second chance to complete their education and advance into careers, higher education or the military.
Job Corps has served more than 3 million out-of-work young adults and underserved youth nationally. Many are high-school dropouts or public-assistance recipients, and Job Corps helps them become active contributors to their communities.
“The students of Blue Ridge Job Corps have become an integral part of our community,” said Dolores Boehm, Community Relations Council President. “I want to thank the families of the graduates for sharing these wonderful young ladies with us.”
Delegate Israel O’Quinn stated, “regardless of where you choose to go in life, your communities will benefit from the knowledge and expertise you gained during your time in Job Corps.”
Local community members who have worked with Job Corps volunteers also joined the celebration to congratulate many of their student volunteers. Job Corps students and staff work with local community-based organizations and nonprofits, logging many hours of volunteer service every year. For example, Blue Ridge students work with Atkins Food Pantry and Feeding America to provide needed services in Southwest Virginia.
“The 9th Annual National Job Corps Commencement Day is an extremely special day for our program,” said National Job Corps Association President & CEO, Byron V. Garrett. “The Job Corps community – our students, their families, center staff, operators, community leaders, employer partners and supporters – worked hard to transform futures that will lead to a lifetime of preparation and success. The devotion of our community is why Job Corps has such strong bipartisan support in Congress and why it continues to be the most successful job training program for America’s underserved youth.