ALBANY — The Albany Turner Job Corps Center joined 123 Job Corps centers across the country to celebrate the eighth annual National Job Corps Commencement Day ceremony last week. The ceremony is held to congratulate Job Corps students who showed “Job Corps Works!” by completing the program this year.

Recent Job Corps graduates employed in Georgia, employer partners, local policymakers, community leaders, family members and many others recognized these students’ achievements and the investment they made in their futures and community.

“You have worked hard to achieve, and you are here. You have the power to make each day your masterpiece,” Georgia House District 153 Rep. CaMia Hopson, the keynote speaker at Turner Job Corps Center’s ceremony, told the students.

Turner Job Corps Center is one of 123 Job Corps centers located across the country. A unique national program, Job Corps offers underserved youths a set of diverse academic opportunities and career pathways tailored to meet the needs of business and industry. Each year, Job Corps gives tens of thousands of youths a second chance to complete their education and advance into careers, higher education or the military.

Job Corps has served more than 3 million out-of-work young adults and underserved youths nationally. Many are high-school dropouts or public-assistance recipients, and Job Corps helps them become active contributors to their communities.

“I am truly proud of everyone in this class. I know I have doctors, lawyers and other professionals in this class,” William Coleman II, the center’s director, said.

Local business leaders attended the ceremony at Turner Job Corps Center to support a program that benefits the local economy. The average Job Corps center supports 228 local jobs, and every dollar invested in Job Corps returns almost $2 to the local economy. Nationally, the 123 Job Corps centers support about 30,000 jobs, the vast majority of which are with private businesses.

Local community members who have worked with Job Corps volunteers also joined the celebration to congratulate many of their student volunteers. Job Corps students and staff work with local community-based organizations and nonprofits, logging many hours of volunteer service every year. For example, Turner Job Corps students work with the Dougherty County School System’s Transportation Department to provide needed services that buses Albany students daily.

“The eighth annual National Job Corps Commencement Day is an extremely special day for our program,” National Job Corps Association President & CEO Byron V. Garrett said. “The Job Corps community – our students, their families, center staff, operators, community leaders, employer partners and supporters – worked hard to transform futures that will lead to a lifetime of preparation and success. The devotion of our community is why Job Corps has such strong bipartisan support in Congress and why it continues to be the most successful job training program for America’s underserved youth.”

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