Job Corps, a program funded by the United States Department of Labor, offers education, vocational training and housing in Hawai'i to eligible youth ages 16 to 24, all free of charge. Started in 1964 as the central program of the Johnson Administration's War on Poverty, its mission is to improve job opportunities for economically disadvantaged youth through academic, career and life-skills training. Job Corps provides a $36,000 scholarship per year for each student in the program.
"On Maui's breathtaking 12-acre residential campus in Makawao, Job Corps offers free schooling and a training program that helps students learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, as well as find and keep a good job," said Rheena Campbell, Hawai'i Job Corps-Maui Satellite Center admissions counselor.
For those who qualify and want a better quality of life, the Maui Satellite Job Corps Center is the perfect place to complete an education and start a vocation. Some of the benefits of Job Corps include industry-recognized certification, hands-on-training and internships, housing, meals and basic medical care, plus a bi-weekly living allowance.
The Maui Satellite Job Corps Center is located in Makawao. The breathtaking 12-acre residential campus, nestled on the side of Haleakalā, is the perfect place to complete an education and start a career. Left to right: Rheena Campbell, Dallas McKeague, Raven Kaufman-Lujan, Zachariah Medeiros and Sam Resuression.
Photo: Cindy Schumacher
"You'll train for work and gain the skills necessary for a successful future," said Campbell.
Job Corps is happy to announce the lifting of the student enrollment suspension that began in January 2013. The suspension was a cost-saving measure implemented by the Department of Labor as a necessary step to ensure that Job Corps operates within its budget this year and in the future.
"For students and potential students, this means that we are currently accepting applications for those interested in enrolling in Maui Job Corps," Campbell said.
Visiting the center in person is the perfect way to see the campus and learn about Job Corps' many services and opportunities first-hand. Program instructors, students and supporting staff offer tours of the Maui campus on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
"When a student enrolls in Job Corps, he or she meets with a staff member to create a career development plan," said Campbell. Maui Job Corps also provides basic reading and math classes as well as courses in independent living, employability and social skills that help students transition into the workplace. The Maui staff understands the need for one-on-one individual training in all areas of growth and development.
"Job Corps is committed to the development of green subject areas to prepare for successful careers in the new green economy," Campbell said. "In many cases, students receive on-the-job training by working on actual job sites. Plus, eligible students are given the opportunity for Mainland travel for advanced studies, training and employment."
Office Technology, one of the most popular programs at Job Corps, integrates the latest business technologies to assist in day-to-day office procedures and work routines. "In addition, students learn verbal and non-verbal communication skills, Microsoft Office Systems, 10-Key by Touch, record keeping and much more," said Business Administration teacher Paul Costa.
"At Job Corps, our curriculum focuses on national goals to better compete in the job market," he said.
The Culinary Arts program introduces the student to the exciting field of food service. In addition to learning all aspects of cooking skills, students will work 12 weeks off-campus at food service establishments.
"Our curriculum is recognized by the American Culinary Federation Education Foundation as a high-quality program that encourages work-based learning and internships," said Culinary Arts instructor Larry Tuzon.
Alongside other occupational choices, Job Corps provides a Retail Sales Classroom designed to simulate the real-world setting of a trade store. Students can attain professional certifications in customer service, sales and retail management. The Facilities Maintenance program teaches carpentry, drywall, flooring, masonry, automotive and landscaping skills.
A typical day at the Maui Satellite Job Corps Center is full of activities. Students get up early and spend the majority of their day receiving academic and hands-on career training. After class, they study, do chores, or hang out with friends before dinner in the cafeteria.
"Our students are provided three nutritious meals each day at no cost," said Campbell, noting that throughout training, students also receive a basic living allowance.
Living arrangements are dormitory style and are divided by male and female. Each dormitory has a bathroom, shower and laundry facilities, TV rooms, lounges and vending machines.
Job Corps is committed to offering all students a safe and secure environment. The Wellness Center is open daily for basic medical, dental and optometrist services that are provided free to the students along with 24-hour emergency services.
"Our program is self-paced," Campbell said. "Depending on the chosen career, the training can take from eight months to two years to complete."
A Job Corp graduate is qualified and prepared for today's professional workplace. Participants are offered continued benefits that include career counseling and support after graduation, with a transition allowance of up to $1,000 to assist with housing and transportation.
"Our staff welcomes all inquiries and visitors to our Maui campus," said Campbell.
For more information, go to maui.jobcorps.gov or contact an admissions counselor at (808) 536-0695.