After Williams’ address, attendees enjoyed breakfast burritos and other treats prepared by the center’s culinary arts students. (Timothy P. Howsare Photos)
The Job Corps, which has its own campus adjacent to Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, held a kickoff Wednesday to celebrated its 50th year in operation. The organization, which trains young people ages 16 to 24 for vocational fields like auto mechanics, health care and culinary arts, was started as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. The Job Corps and Head Start are the only two federal programs created during the Johnson Administration that exist today.
Job Corps centers currently train more than 60,000 students in 36 states through $1.7 billion in funding through the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Job Corps in Roswell serves around 175 students who live in dormitories on the campus. Students without high school diplomas can get GEDs. All students are certified for employment in their chosen professions at the end of their training at the center. While some students will immediately get jobs, others will go on to college or join the military, said Joann Lopez, business community liaison at the center.
Center Director Eddie Williams addresses a crowd of about 50 people who gathered for the anniversary kickoff celebration.
Though this gateway is always closed, it is symbolic of the Job Corps’ mission to be a road to success for its students.