By Jeff Bartelli, Staff Editor
Job Corps is a federally funded program administered by the Department of Labor that offers academic and vocational training to people between the ages of 16 and 24. The professional fields that a young person can receive training in at Job Corps range from accounting to urban forestry. However, the majority of Job Corps students will end up in a construction trade such as plumbing or carpentry.
Many students leave Job Corps with valuable skills that they are eager to use. However, there isn’t much demand for masons and electricians anymore. Job Corps should be adjusting its programs to train young job seekers in cutting edge fields in order to meet the demands of the market. For example, Job Corps needs to enact policies that will offer its students careers in the green sector. The United States has a growing need for people who can install the energy systems of the 21st century, such as solar panels and wind turbines. Job Corps has the opportunity to offer underprivileged people the resources to fill those jobs. That is why Job Corps, and the Department of Labor, must shift their policy emphasis from providing training in construction jobs of yesterday to the green sector jobs of today.