The Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center was happy to join with the 125 other Job Corps Centers across the nation, Friday, August 24th for a National Commencement Ceremony to honor the 48th Anniversary of the Job Corps Program.
Job Corps was created on August 30, 1964 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Employment Opportunity Act. Since then, Job Corps has trained and educated more than 2 million young people to date, serving approximately 62,000 young adults each year.
The Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center recognized 43 graduates for their accomplishments at the special ceremony held at 2:30 PM in the Auditorium. Included in the ceremony was a special letter from United States Senator Debbie Stabenow that was read by one of her staff, graduate success stories, a Keynote Address from International Artist and Grand Rapids Native, Paul Collins, and a special pre-recorded video message from Mark Shriver whose father was the founder and creator of Job Corps.
The Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center trains over 400 students annually in seven different career technical training programs, offers students the chance to obtain their high school diploma or GED, teaches students independent living and employability skills, and provides placement services to students upon completion of the program.
Graduation was open to family, friends, current students, staff, the local community, and media. Over 300 people attended the hour long ceremony and applauded as each graduate walked across the stage as their name and accomplishments were read. For many students, including graduate Damian Collins, this was a day of reflection.
“I have accomplished what I came here for,” stated Damian. “I completed my trade, and earned my GED. Thanks to the education and training I received at Job Corps, I am now working and going to college. Job Corps has shown me a new way of life.”