Many young people choose programs like the job corps as an alternative to a traditional college prep. Job corps is a program that the Department of Labor offers to low-income adolescents and young adults.
There are 125 job corps locations across the U.S. The program offers career education and technical training to eligible young women and men. It provides them with an opportunity to gain real career experience or advance to a college education. Other high-school age individuals look to a summer youth employment program to provide them with skills that will give them an advantage in their chosen career field when they finish high school.
In fact, there are many youth employment service programs that can impact a participant’s career path in multiple ways. The Department of Labor funds several opportunities for youth to broaden their potential for success and strengthen their contribution to the workforce.
If you are a youth or parent of a youth, read through the sections below to learn how these programs can improve your life or the life of a loved one. Discover more about employment and training programs for young people in the U.S.
Job corps is the largest youth training program in the nation. Work programs for young adults like this one allow youth a better opportunity at success than they would likely receive in traditional educational environments. They offer youth job programs in over 100 different occupational careers. Career planning, on-the-job training and job placement are also provided. Some of the opportunities with job corps include the following areas:
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In addition to youth job training programs, this volunteer organization helps teens and young adults grow in all areas of life. Participants of this program also receive academic and educational training in the following areas:
Once a job corps application is accepted, there is no cost to students or their families. Residential housing at one of the national job corps locations is provided for free. Additionally, other necessities are provided, free of charge, including the following:
The job corps application can be started online. However, once you complete the online recruitment form, you must speak with a job corps admissions specialist either in person or over the phone to complete your application. Once you submit the initial interest form, you should hear from a specialist within three business days.
The U.S. Department of Labor encourages summer youth employment programs (SYEP), and many states and communities offer SYEP or similar initiatives. These youth job programs engage youth in pro-social activities that deliver valuable experience for the workforce. Providing subsidized earnings to youth who are employed with select businesses during the summer months makes for a safe and productive use of free time. Youth job training programs can improve job readiness, teach strategies and introduce tools and resources to young employees that they can use in their future endeavors.
Youth job programs under the Department of Labor are coordinated by the Employment and Training Administration within the Office of Workforce Investment’s Division of Youth Services (DYS). The DYS’s primary responsibility is to organize and manage all youth job programs under their umbrella. Some of the DYS youth employment programs for workforce training and education initiatives include the following programs that are further explained below:
YouthBuild is a youth training program administered by the DYS. This community-based work program for young adults is a pre-apprenticeship program for at-risk youth between 16 years of age and 24 years of age who have dropped out of high school. Similar to a summer youth employment program, YouthBuild teaches participants vocational skills of in-demand careers such as construction, healthcare, hospitality and information technology. YouthBuild also offers participating youth have the opportunity for community service in their own neighborhoods through rehabilitation or construction of low-cost housing for homeless families and low-income families. This instills community leadership in these individuals, among other fundamental core character traits.
The YouthBuild youth employment service allows youth to split their time across vocational training and in-class education that allows for participants to earn their GED or high school diploma. Other significant benefits of this work program for young adults include the following potential opportunities:
The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is a youth employment program outline for communities to aid youth and young adults 14 to 24 years of age in employment. WIOA is a comprehensive youth employment service under the Division of Youth Services of the U.S. Department of Labor. Eligible candidates for programs funded by the WIOA include teens and young adults facing education, employment and training barriers, namely out-of-school youth (OSY). Participants are guided through work experience via local youth services programs that are bolstered by communities in partnership with American Job Centers.
Youth CareerConnect (YCC) delivers youth job training and job education to high school students. This embracing youth job training program focuses on providing work-based learning opportunities by combining technical curriculum with rigorous academic standards. In-demand careers and industries are targeted to increase employability for participants and better readies them for post-secondary learning. The specific career pathways listed below allow for a more comprehensive youth training program that establishes authentic job experience:
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