Faces of Job Corps: Lauren H.
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Faces of Job Corps: Lauren H.

This transcript was taken from KOTA Television, news story by Kristen Tripodi.  Video can be found at:

Job Corps helps students land jobs during these tough times

Lauren Hanks feels lucky to have an internship. She works the front desk at the black hills national forest supervisor’s office. But just a year and a half ago, Hanks was in need of help.

“I wasn’t doing very good in high school, not doing what I supposed to do anywhere,” says Lauren Hanks, a Job Corps student.

So her mom suggested she join Job Corps. Job Corps is a nationwide career and technical education training program run by the U.S. Department of Labor. As part of the program, Hanks earned her High School Diploma and her GED. She also learned skills to help launch her career.

“They teach you social skills, like how to work with employees, with your co-workers and your employers,” Hanks says.

They teach those skills, but landing the job is ultimately up to the student.

“I was thinking I’m going to need this job that I have now or I’m never going to have another one,” says Hanks.

It’s a worry that many in KOTA territory have. Last month, South Dakota’s unemployment rate was up from January, rounding off at 4.8%. But Frank Carroll, with the Black Hills National Forest, says even with high unemployment rates across the country, programs such as Job Corps are successful at helping students enter the working world.

“It really helps to have these people who are almost tailor made for the kind of work that we need done and to be able to bring them into our agency fully ready to go. I watch Lauren work at the front desk and it’s amazing to me. It’s like she’s been there for 2 or 3 years,” says Frank Carroll.

“I’m pretty much on my own right now; I have an apartment I’m paying for by myself. I’m kind of on my own, it’s a test drive. Until I’m thrown out into the real world,” says Hanks.

And Hanks say she hopes the program helps her enter the real world sooner rather than later.

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