Charleston joined 126 Job Corps centers across the country to celebrate the 5th Annual “National Job Corps Commencement Day” ceremony Friday, August 21, 2015 to congratulate the Job Corps students who showed Job Corps Works! by completing the program this year.
Recent Job Corps graduates employed in West 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.
“Every day is a new opportunity for a new beginning,” said Rod Blackstone, Deputy Mayor, City of Charleston, the keynote speaker at Charleston’s ceremony. Blackstone closed with a cheer arousing the audience.
Charleston Job Corps Center is one of 126 Job Corps centers located across the country. A unique national program, Job Corps offers at-risk 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 2.7 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.
In April 2015, the entire Job Corps community gathered in Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the program. As part of this celebration, supporters heard stories from current and former students, staff and businesses about the tremendous benefits that Job Corps provides to communities across the country, including Charleston, WV.
“Remember everything you learned here and the proof is putting it into practice,” said Willie Brown, the center’s director.
Local business leaders attended the ceremony at Charleston Job Corps Center to support a program that benefits the local economy. The average Job Corps center supports 228 local jobs, and every dollar invested in Job Corps returns almost $2 to the local economy. Nationally, the 126 Job Corps centers support about 30,000 jobs, the vast majority of which are with private businesses.
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, Charleston Job Corps students work with the City of Charleston, Parks & Recreation, Charleston Community & Family Development Corporation, and Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Club to provide needed services to Charleston.
Charleston Job Corps Center maintains bipartisan support in reaching disadvantaged youth with academic and career technical training for 21st century careers. The center was recognized by the congressional offices of Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Senator Joe Manchin, III.
“Celebrating Job Corps graduates is always special, but the 5th Annual Commencement Day comes at an especially important time,” said NJCA CEO Lonnie P. Taylor. “The Job Corps community – young people, their families, center staff, operators, community leaders, community partners and supporters – were recently part of a wonderful celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the program. This milestone has reinvigorated our community and its commitment to making the next 50 years even better than the last.
“The staff and students have worked hard to transform futures that will lead to a lifetime of success. Their devotion 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 jobless youth.”
NJCA Commencement Day Graduates 2015
Bezawate Abate Alexandria, VA Medical Office Support (MOS)
Rahmir Alexander Trainer, PA Pharmacy Tech (PT)
Danyelle Allen Charleston, WV HVAC & Carpentry
John Artis Norfolk, VA Network Cabling
Baheerah Brooks Charleston, WV Certified Nursing Asst. (CNA) & Dental Asst.
Hana Bekele Washington, DC Office Administration (OA
Shayne Butler Germantown, MD OA
David Carter Hudsonville, MI Facilities Maintenance (FM)
Danny Deason Monaca, PA Painting
Mariaha Fisher Baltimore, MD OA
Mariah Franklin Crewe, VA OA
Jordan Harrison Chesapeake, VA OA
Kieran Hendrickson Buckhannon, WV FM
Kristie Jean Philadelphia, PA CNA & PT
Daniel Jimenez Gainesville, VA PT
Trene Johnson Wilmington, DE CNA
Ajee Kershaw Boothwyn, PA CNA
Kiara Meekins John Island, SC MOS
Shawanna Moore Charleston, WV OA
Tiara Mosley Norfolk, VA CNA
Isaiah Caleb Rhue Pittsburgh, PA HVAC
Asia Rimm Norfolk, VA OA
Angel Rodriguez Allentown, PA Painting & Carpentry
Jerri Rowe Bluefield, WV MOS
Kristina Scott Monaca, PA Painting
Nyshayah Spencer Philadelphia, PA CNA & PT
Sade Walker District Heights, MD PT