CLEARFIELD — A locally run, federal training program is reaching out to young women in an effort to help them find career success and self-fulfillment.
Utah’s two Job Corps centers announced a campaign Tuesday to recruit a record number of new female students. After a four-month national enrollment freeze that ended in April, the program has 213 openings available to income-qualified prospective students.
The freeze prevented the program from adding new students, explained Issa Arnita, director of corporate communications for Centerville-based Management & Training Corp. — which manages and operates 18 Job Corps centers in 15 states.
Job Corps is a free, federal career training program developed and administered by the U.S. Department of Labor to meet educational and career technical training needs of economically disadvantaged youths. Participants must be between the ages of 16 and 24.
Students live on campus and receive training in a career path of their choice, including health occupations, computer technology, automotive, carpentry, welding, electrical and plumbing. They can also earn a high school diploma or GED certificate.
While there are opportunities for both male and female students, the greatest opportunities are for young women, Arnita said.
“This is a program for kids who didn’t finish high school or maybe they did finish and find themselves in a spot wondering, 'What I am going to do?'" he said. “They don’t want to work in a fast-food restaurant making minimum wage and want a better-paying job. This allows them to (achieve that goal).”
Students leave the center prepared to find good-paying jobs, Arnita said.
Not long ago, Lyndsey Alexander, 20, was one of those young women looking for direction. The Davis County native said she dropped out of high school due to bullying and was hoping to find a place where she could learn skills needed to develop a career path.
Initially, Alexander wanted to pursue the automotive mechanics field, but she soon realized that electronics was a better fit.
“It’s gone very well,” she said.
Alexander recently graduated from the first phase of training and will move to advanced training next month working on solar and thermal panel installation.
“Solar is up and coming, so it will be a good career option for me,” she explained.
While some students come to Job Corps to finish the basic educational needs, others use the program as a vehicle for life after their high school days.
Kehaulani Flanders, 19, chose Job Corps after graduation from Clearfield High School in order to obtain job experience and prepare for college. She is pursuing a career in business administration.
Since enrolling in the program, Flanders has worked as an intern with a global communication technology company.
“I’ve improved my professional and technical skills, and it’s really prepared me for the business world,” Flanders said.
For more information on Job Corps, visit www.mtctrains.com/job-corps or call 801-693-2902.