Sunday, June 26, 2022

North Texas Job Corps Center, a place where youth from low-income families are given an opportunity to prosper

By: Jackie Hardy, NDG Contributing Writer

The North Texas Job Corps Center (NTJCC), located in McKinney sits over 90 acres of land and to many of its students it represents their land of opportunity.  NTJCC is contracted to serve a maximum of 650 students that range in ages from 16 through 24.  Job Corps is a national program funded by the Department of Labor and authorized under Title I-C of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998. 

NTJCC supports the National Job Corps Program’s mission of teaching eligible youth the skills they need to become employable, independent, and placing students in meaningful jobs or helping to create opportunities for students to further their education.  Job Corps Programs are designed to provide students with the core competencies in academic, vocational, employability and social skills through a combination of classroom, practical-based learning experiences in the effort to prepare youth for stable, long-term, and high-paying jobs.

A student’s comprehensive success is measured by placement according to Laura Bruton, Business and Community Liaison for North Texas Job Corps Center.  Placement is defined by either a student being placed in a job consistent with the training received at NTJCC or a student furthering their education via high school, college or Advanced Career Training (ACT) and/or pursuing military opportunities after completion of the program.

According to Bruton, over 60 percent of students enrolled at the NTJCC are high school drop-outs and join the program in hopes of finding employment.  NTJCC graduation completion rates are approximately around 70 percent.  From July 2009 to June 2010; 527 NTJCC graduates successfully transitioned into the workforce.

The Guided Group Interaction (GGI) is one of the strategies used in the program to encourage a Positive Normative Culture (PNC) among its students.  GGI is a group exercise led and/or observed by a member of the staff; where each student is encouraged to share their accomplishments for the day.  The hope in doing this weekly exercise is to promote a positive culture that embodies enthusiasm and cohesiveness among the students, as well as serve as a tool for motivation in helping students accomplish their goal of graduating.

Students who enroll in the NTJCC have the opportunity to engage in various Career Technical Training Programs: Accounting Services; Bricklaying; Carpentry; Cement Masonry; Culinary Arts; Electrical; Facilities Maintenance; Material Distribution and Operations; Nurse Assistant-Home Health Aide; Office Administration; Painting; Plumbing; Security and Protective Services; and Truck Driving. 

Students can also enjoy other benefits of the program:  Pay and Allowances (earn a living allowance twice a month); Housing (NTJCC has a male dormitory that houses up to 310 male students and a female dormitory that holds up to 340 female students); Free Meals (all students are provided three nutritious meals each day); and free access to the Wellness Center (provides dental, medical, and optometrist services).

The career and academic programs are current with the market-trend as it relates to technology, safety course requirements and industry certifications, as well as staying abreast of the various industries environmental standards and requirements with respect to the Green Job Initiatives.  Currently, students at NTJCC who enroll in Advanced Manufacturing, Automotive, or Construction Career Technical Training will receive training in a variety of green subject areas to ensure students pursuing careers in these respective fields will be able to enter the workforce competitively. 

The Graduate Benefits Program is one of the many important pieces helping NTJCC graduates transition into the workforce successfully.  The program offers graduates 1200 dollars for transition allowance to use toward transportation and housing; job placement assistance for up to six months; career counseling; and relocation services.   The NTJCC Career Transition and Industry Counselors work closely with both the graduate and the business community in the effort of helping students find employment based on their career training background to ensure students are not falling through the cracks after completion of the program.

Community service is one important value the program espouses in helping students complete the circle of becoming fully well-rounded individuals.  Students of the NTJCC will leave the program understanding first-hand the importance of giving back to their community.  Some of the various charities and past community events the NTJCC students have been involved with include:  Tour de Cure for American Diabetes Association, Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure in Plano, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, as well as donated funds to the American Red Cross in support of the Haiti Relief Fund for the earthquake victims.

“Seeing the development of the youth that come through our center, as well as seeing the positive changes among the students from start to finish is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding parts of my job,” said Bruton.

In 2009, the NTJCC received 1.4 million dollar funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  Students and staff of NTJCC are reaping many benefits of the grant which include the purchase of 124 new computers, as well as renovation improvements being made to the Student Recreation Center and some of the facilities parking lots.

With a student body comprised mostly of African American (56 percent) and Hispanic (17 percent), NTJCC is one of the most important resources available for these two communities who historically experience high rates of teen pregnancy, high-school drop-outs, and crime. 

NTJCC is a second chance for that teen looking to better their circumstances, hope to the teen looking to break the cycle of poverty, or an opportunity for that youth who has dreams, but no financial resources to pursue those dreams. The NTJCC Program serves a vital role in the community and its programs are equipping our future generations in caring for the sick, building our highways, and feeding our communities. 

For more information about the NTJCC Program, visit www.northtexas.jobcorps.gov or call 972-542-2623.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I think it is a shame that those of us who are productive legal citizens vicariously pay for all of this without having the opportunity to opt out.

    And apparently, from one situation I know of, they leave the door wide open for households who are drawing government checks AND working, yet not having to count their government checks as income, to claim “low income” even though they are bringing in anove average household income.

    Also, the “child” who is getting admitted into the program was declined disability because he is basically just too lazy to do anything about himself and his mother has gotten him on all kinds of psych drugs. Does this sound like someone us working folks should be paying for their education, training, room and board AND all their medical needs, and even income? come on!!

  2. Wow seriously? are you that much of a prick that you believe that it is only lazy people and illegal immigrants in this program? well, go screw your self! i happened to have had my life changed by this program, and at least fifty of my friends have had the same thing happen. so if you are so self centered as to think you know anything about the job corps, then i’m sorry but you are SADLY mistaken…

  3. Normally I dont rant on the net but i feel like i need to say something about katy there comment….. Look lady i was laid off of my job with a local tree service about 6 months ago and have been unable to find work since Job corp is gonna be my saving grace…… and another thing when i did work for the tree service i would put in 8 to 10 hour days 100+ degree heat so i know what it is to work my ass off and i got news for you most people who get a monthly check only make about $671 a month and let me ask you could you live off that ….. i could not when i got it even with it i still HAD to work to survive…… in short i will be going to job corps and i can work you under the table any day of the week in any weather at anytime

  4. When I was a junior in high school i dropped out of school because i was heavy on drugs and alcohol. Job corps was my only option if i wanted to change my life. I spent 10 months in Job corps and i got job training and my high school diploma, and i did it sober. Job corps is the reason that i am alive today! Anyone that has anything negative to say about this program is just ignorant!! I thank God everyday that i joined Job corps!! I have been out since 09, since then i have gotten married and had a job in the field i was trained in until i got pregnant with my first baby. None of that would be possible without Job corps!

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