Organization Profile/Program Summary: The Sacramento Job Corps Center has the capacity to serve up to 477 young men and women between the ages of 14 and 24 at any one time. In 2003, the Center celebrated its 25th year of operation. The Center primarily serves youth from Northern California, including the Sacramento area. About two-thirds of the youth reside at the Center. According to the Center brochure, “Job Corps helps all participants develop and realize personal career plans that are best for them. All students, regardless of Center tenure, leave with increased skills and the feeling they benefited from the Job Corps.”The Sacramento Center offers vocational and educational opportunities to all its students. Vocational and technical training is offered in 13 areas and students may pursue more than one skill area. Students complete a work-based learning internship as part of their vocational program. Students who lack a high school diploma may study for a GED or pursue a regular high school diploma through the charter high school located on the Center campus. About 60% of those youth lacking a high school diploma attend the charter high school. The Center also provides health education, English as a second language instruction, and driver education training. Head Start operates an on-site day care facility for non-resident students with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.About 25% of the youth enrolled at the Center have identified disabilities, primarily learning disabilities. Youth with disabilities are normally identified during the admissions interview process. There are some youth who are referred from the Department of Rehabilitation Services. A multi-discipline team meets to develop an accommodation plan before the youth begins at the Center. The disability coordinator serves as a case manager for youth with disabilities. She connects them to an array of community services and provides support while they are at the Center and after they leave.Career Systems Development, the Center operator, has established a set of core values for both the staff and the students. These core values are commitment, respect, individual accountability, integrity, growth, and safety. These values are posted throughout the Center and are communicated through workshops and training for both staff and students.
Program Structure/Design: The Sacramento Job Corps Center program is composed of five stages, the first of which consists of outreach and admissions. Students are expected to be enrolled for six months, but they may remain in training for up to two years. The second stage, following completion of the admissions process, is a career preparation period during which the student establishes his or her career goals. Students complete their training at their own pace. Training is offered in 13 vocational and technical program areas and students have the option of completing various levels of training within their program areas and in more than one program area. Students complete a work-based learning assignment as part of their vocational training. Students who lack a high school diploma may attend the charter high school housed at the Center and receive a regular high school diploma, or they may take GED preparation training. Health education, English as a second language, and driver education training are also provided. Head Start operates a day care center on site for nonresident students with preschool-age children. Students who are completing their program of study and are ready for placement are transferred to the transition dorm. They may stay at this dorm for 90 days, with a time extension possible. Students who reside in this dorm have more freedom and are self-managed. This provides a transition period for students from the structured life at the Center to less structured life after they leave the Center.
States of Operation: CA
• Out of school youth,
• Runaway and homeless youth,
• Youth with disabilities,
• Pregnant or parenting youth,
• Youth offenders,
• Youth in foster care or aging out,
• Rural youth,
• Urban youth,
• Minority youth.
ODEP Funded: No
Profile Year: 2007
School-Based Preparatory Experiences: The Sacramento Job Corps Center has a unique college program. Funds have been set aside for 36 community college scholarships. These scholarships cover the costs of a two-year college program. They are available for students who have completed advanced training levels in their trade or program of study. Students who receive these scholarships are eligible to continue to reside on-site in the transition college dorm. This provides the student with housing and with some structure, although there is more flexibility provided to these students than to other residential students. Students may stay on-site a total of three years, allowing most of the students to reside there long enough to complete both their Job Corps program and their community college program.
Career Preparation and Work-Based Learning Experiences: The Sacramento Job Corps Center emphasizes job-readiness or so-called “soft skills” training. It begins with a career development preparation period during which students determine their career goals. Every week, training is conducted on a different soft skill topic. The schedule for this training over a two or three month period is posted at different locations around the Center. Every student must attend a weekly session. The topics include teamwork, time management, relationships with peers and groups, conflict management, listening, how to set and refine goals, expressing anger constructively, and listening. These topics are cross-referenced to the soft skill competencies that have been established and to the Center’s core values — commitment, respect, individual accountability, integrity, growth, and safety.
Youth Development and Leadership: Every student completes a 16- to 18-hour leadership program. Embedded in this program is training in the Center’s core values of commitment, respect, individual accountability, integrity, growth, and safety. All students are encouraged and provided opportunities to participate in the student government. Student government elections are held every six months. Students may serve on the student government association, on its Executive Board, or on one of the six committees. Students on the Executive Board serve for six months and may serve an additional six-month term. The student government association is made up of two student residents from each of the 12 dorms and two nonresident students. Students are assigned to the committees, which meet weekly and report to the student government association. Revenue from the student-run cafe goes into the student government association budget. It may be used for student activities and for other purposes that benefit the students. The student government association is the decision-making body concerning the use of the funds. Minor behavior infractions are also resolved by the student government association.
Connecting Activities: The Sacramento Job Corps Center has found that the first two or three months are the most difficult period for many students. In response, the Center established a staff mentoring program. Staff members are encouraged but not required to participate. New students are assigned a staff mentor who is available to meet with them and to assist them in adjusting to Center life. There is a recognition program for the mentors. Each year students vote on the staff mentor of the year.
The Center has a dedicated disability coordinator position. This individual’s job is to provide ongoing support to students with disabilities. The disability coordinator meets with the students regularly and connects them to the community resources they need and assists them in completing the paperwork required to qualify for an array of government benefits. The disability coordinator accompanies students on interviews off campus. The staff member has established working relationships with organizations and agencies throughout the community. For example, she works with the community college in making sure that students get the support they need upon enrollment. The person in this position purchases equipment for students. The individual also follows up with students after they have left the Center to make sure that they are successful in their post-Job Corps placement.
Collaboration: The Sacramento Job Corps Center has established relationships with schools, businesses, and community and faith-based organizations throughout the Sacramento area. These relationships provide opportunities for students to perform community service, participate in recreational activities, participate in work-based learning, and be placed in jobs and postsecondary education and training. For example, students installed Cisco networking in a local school system; they provided Thanksgiving meals at the local community center; and they assisted a local organization in building a wilderness rescue site. Through a partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation, Job Corps students get experience in heavy equipment operation, which provides entry into the union and to job placement. Center staff members serve on the youth councils for three local workforce areas. Every other month, the Center hosts its Community Partnership Council. This provides a forum for existing and prospective partners to meet and learn about what is going on at the Center. One of the 13 vocational and technical training programs is featured at each of these meetings.
EVIDENCE OF SUCCESS (INFORMATION AND ANALYSIS)
The following chart presents data from program year 2003.
|Program Year 2003 (July 1, 2003 – June 30, 2004)
|Attained high school diploma or GED
|Earned a vocational completion certificate
|Employment — placement
|Placement in job, school, or military
|Average starting hourly wage
|Employment — retention
|Average weekly wage after six months
|Average weekly wage after twelve months
A 2001 national study of the Job Corps by Mathematica Corporation documented the effectiveness of Job Corps programs in increasing education and job training of participants, in improving literacy skills, and in improving employment outcomes. This study found that services were delivered consistently and comprehensively across the country.
Organization Name: Sacramento Job Corps Center
Organization Director: Peter Gregerson
Program Name: Sacramento Job Corps Center
Street Address: 3100 Meadowview Road