By: Fara Foster, Director of Communications and Community Engagement
Eugene Bradford readily admits he would make different decisions today than those he made in high school. However, he refused to allow those decisions to frame the rest of his life. He found Job Corps training offered him the “best second chance” at the life he desired.
Founded in 1964 to offer educational and vocational training to young adults from ages 16 to 24, Job Corps now has over 130 training facilities nationwide, including locations in Memphis, TN and Batesville, MS. When Eugene entered Job Corps training, the closest location was in Morganfield, KY at the Earle C. Clements Job Corps Center.
Through Job Corps training, Eugene learned welding, the skill that eventually brought him to our family of companies. He also earned his GED and got his driver’s license while there.
In addition to job skills training, Job Corps provides housing and meals for participants, pays each an allowance for other needs and provides career placement assistance upon graduation. According to Eugene, one of the greatest benefits of Job Corps was that it taught him to be self-sufficient and deal effectively with a variety of people.
“Job Corps definitely gave me a competitive edge when I started looking for a job,” he said. “They not only helped me find a job, but they prepared me for the real world. Sure, I had finished my education and learned a skill, but I also learned to manage money.” Starting with a small bi-monthly stipend, participants increase their earnings by mastering courses offered. For Eugene, it also fostered an interest in long-term investing.
“I learned to work with people who were different from me,” he continued. “There were people in the training from all over. For the first time, I was away from home, which meant I was away from my community. I didn’t just learn to be around people who were different from me, I learned I wanted to be around them.”
Looking to foster new relationships and expand our brand awareness, Adrian Barnhill and Pam Gordon visited the Muhlenberg Job Corps Center in Greenville, KY, the American Job Center in Clarksville, TN and the Heavy Equipment College in Nashville, TN this week. They also attended the Lincoln Tech Career Fair while in Nashville.