Utah's two Job Corps centers want more Utahns.
Jobs Corps and state school officials hoping to attract a larger percentage of Utah's school dropouts to the centers in Clearfield and South Weber. Already, recruitment posters picturing four Jobs Corps students from Utah have been going up around the state.F. Craig Sudbury, Clearfield center director, said, "There are ample numbers of Utah students who are out of school and out of work that need this program."
The recruitment efforts have been endorsed by Superintendent of Public Instruction James Moss and a task force he is heading to study Utah's dropout problems.
Currently there are about 200 Utah students, out of 1,500, at the Clearfield Center. Sudbury said he would like the number of Utah students to be expanded to 700. There are about 15,000 dropouts in the state.
At the Weber Basin Job Corps in South Weber the number of Utah students, particularly from the Wasatch Front, has been increasing, according to Director Don Temple.
"It is a matter of economics," Temple said. "Jobs Corps is in a position in the area to be a resource to supplement the public school system."
The Clearfield center already has a partnership with the Davis School District to offer Job Corps as an option to dropouts. Sudbury hopes to make similar partnerships with the state's 39 other districts. The center is also trying to design a day training program that includes day care for single parents, particularly unwed mothers.
"Jobs Corps is for students who have had difficulty with the structure or with the lock-step instruction of public schools. There are just a lot of students who cannot be on page 34 of a social studies text every Friday. They move at a different pace."
The two Jobs Corps centers offer job training programs in several trades, including auto mechanics, welding, carpentry, brick and cement masonry, painting, heavy equipment operation, culinary arts and clerical skills.
Sudbury admits that an obstacle to achieving increased enrollment at his center is overcoming a reputation that he said Job Corps has undeservedly earned. He said another barrier is an attitude among Utahns that vocational education is a second-rate alternative to traditional academic pursuits.
The Clearfield center is the third largest of 101 such centers in the United States. The Weber Basin center is much smaller with about 225 students. Congress recently approved funding for six new Job Corps centers in the United States.