Job Corps Fraud Blog

Nationwide mismanagement of Job Corps calls for action!

Job Corps and the American Dream

Bob Confer’s post in the New American talks about how the US Government has created poverty instead of alleviating its presence.   He briefly mentions Job Corps as one of the wasteful programs that deserves a discerning look.  Confer mentions the “redundancy” of Job Corps and the fact that its programs are duplicated elsewhere  in the private sector and schools.  Redundancy is apparently another rationale for saying that Job Corps is expensive and should be eliminated.

I think why Job Corps has survived the “redundancy” accusation is because it’s highly touted as being the program of last resort for those who have been kicked out of high school, for the juvenile delinquents and misfits and for those who can’t read.  It’s a place to gather all “these” kids together and present Job Corps as a “one of a kind” program that isn’t duplicated anywhere else. It’s not the program Job Corps is selling, it’s the attendees.  And the message is: “Look how we take these inner city delinquents and cure them of their gang affiliations”, or, “Everyone else has given up on certain students, just give us six months and we’ll turn them around and give them a new attitude, a high school diploma and a trade on top of it all”.  Unfortunately, if it sounds too good to be true, most of the time it’s a lie.

Job Corps also has other kinds of attendees, the student who, for some reason or another wasn’t able to complete high school, or, the student from a broken family who is looking for an education and some stability.  Sometimes, kids without any behavioral problems at all enroll because they think it’s a place where they’ll get a quality, free, education and they believe what the glossy brochures and smooth talking recruiters tell them. I’ve spoken to those “other” kinds of students and heard the stories about the gangs, beat downs and blanket parties.  I’ve heard about the prevalence of drugs in the dorms and on campus. As a staff, I’ve also seen known drug-dealer students kept on the attendance rolls because we needed “the numbers”. Last, I’ve seen the stars slowly fade from student’s eyes when they suspect that they aren’t getting the dream of the education they deserve or when they notice that the overworked and underpaid teachers or staff don’t have the time to spend with them.

Sure, there are a few Job Corps students who do a complete turn-around, but unfortunately, they are the minority.  The vast majority are proved, through corrected statistics and scientific evidence that they are no better off than before they enrolled.  What gives? Why are we paying for this program? I believe that we too have stars in our eyes and want to believe that there is a magic bullet “out there” that will, once and for all, cure the troubled youth of our century and for now, Job Corps fulfills the fairly tale. We need the “dream” as much as the kids do…


Filed under: Job Corps, Kittrell Job Corps Center, Newspaper Reports, number manipulation, politics, Shriver Job Corps Center, , , , , ,

10 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. john walker-cobb says:

    Most of us went there to make somthing better of our selves, talk to the “job corp” kids in person and ask if it was truly helpfull. I went to jobcorps in 99-2000 and it wasn’t the kids, it was the program that failed. Take 100 kids and put them in coffined area, then treat them like inmates. thats what a “job corp” kid went through. Dont blame the kids for somthing that has failed when it started..You go in with nothing and leave with nothing and probably the same situation that you left with. I say shut it down


    • Trevor Campbell says:

      I’d like to say this: “You go in with nothing, (unless, you’re one of the few that obtained a GED/HSD before admissions), & you come out with nothing valuable. Here are the cons of going to Job Corps just to recieve a GED/Trade cetrificate:

      I apologise if a GED is your Secondary School completion, but a GED, in my opinion should’ve been much more than a consolation. They say “any dummy can sit through school 12 years”, but the dummies they’re typically refering to are the “dummies” who don’t sit through the years of Secondary/High school, and find a resource like Job Corps who can give them a GED, knowing all they have to do is take a test in each subject after preparing for it. I believe graduating High school of any form is the traditional way that works out better. A high school diploma can get you to a place better than Job Corps, if you have a financial aid plan. I messed up with getting financial aid and my family was uncooperative with me going to college, so college was almost not looking like much of a possibility.

      The issues I have with some of the trades is those trades are industries that either start you in a job that you can easily get laid off in at any time in the future. If you’re a CNA or Office Assistant, you have to go, before the office manager or registered nurse does, right? You also may not compete very well with competitors who could’ve got their experience from a place that offers more quality experience/hands-on activity than Job Corps. Employers look at the quality of the trade programs. Who do you think will likely get a job as a assistant chef manager, the 18-month cordon Bleu Institute culinary grad who from previous encounters, has worked well with this insittute and their grads, who demonstrate great kitchen leadership/managing skills, or the 10 month Job Corps culinary grad from the local center that’s failed retaining other grads due to their lack of knowledge? You decide.

      I was contemplating College or Film school for the last couple of years until Job Corps was introduced to me. I knew I had potential to enroll and graduate from college or film school, but it was Job Corps that I arrived to first. I completed my trade of Office Administration there, and believe me, I knew I needed to go to college, and my center, Pittsburgh, had an OCT program, one of Job Corps’ largest college programs. By curiosity, what have you been involved with as far as work or any future education? I’m assuming if you were in Job Corps back in 99-2000, your life and career/education goals must be different. Job Corps, I assume, isn’t much different. Heck, I might be typing on the computer you used in your dorm right now.


      • john walker-cobb says:

        I was 15 during that time, at Oconaluftee Job Corps, I was gravly sick and was forced to work in the cold(the coldest time of the year. Fellow students had to nurse me back to health while a counselor was trying to push me out the door. Only one of many things that happend in there. And as of it helping with a job or extra schooling, job corps had no effect or influence in my future other than some real bad memorys, but they wern’t shy about taking credit for me working as a under paid and under the table assistant for a friend, that was added to the 90 percent success rate that they documented. After job corps it was army, I would gladly go through basic training again than tell any child to go to jobcorps in Oconaluftee anyways. I signed up for culunary arts but some how got put in carpentry (which didn’t bother me to much) but they used pictures from a diferant jobcorps on the pamplet to recruit many students. Instead it resembled like a prison, wire fence and a bunch of people yelling out fresh meat. When i sad i wanted to go home, they said unless some one comes to pick you up and sign for me i had to stay there until my contract was up. My home was to far away to runaway and my father was dying and disabled, so he could get me. So i had to use my fathers critcal condition and a friend pretending to be a lawyer over the phone to get them to send me back home. Its not a school, nor a place to learn a trade, its a place to put people or undesirables in a place of confinment for labor and money


      • Lloyd says:


        How did you get into Job Corps at 15 yrs of age? I know the Conservation Corps are a little different, but I didn’t think one could enter JC at 15.

        Health services at one of the Job Corps I worked at a while ago was just deplorable. Students were coming to classes sick and infecting everyone else because the Nurse Manager decided they couldn’t stay in the infirmary. This is a common complaint at Job Corps centers – at least it was a while ago. The last center I worked at, this was not the case for the most part. The nurse in charge was a sympathetic person who had clinical experience as a nurse, and wasn’t some sit-behind-the-desk ogre Nurse Ratched.


    • john walker-cobb says:


      Age requierments was 15 to 25, might had a few older than that only cause they were there befor they met the age limit. The nurse or medical department was hardly there, when they were you only got cough drops unless you had a STD then you got somthing else but they did that and testing when ya first come in. But yes we did have some sympathetic counsors, which were later told not to, or fired cause they did, one was a theropist good man. he tried he hardest to give what he can to help us and they told him that some of the subjects were inappropriate (relegion) which wasn’t the counslor fault but a students curiosty, and if one student messed up, no one could leave with there pass. so taking those people away just made it to were we kinda were like zombies day to day, but yea your right some are ok. This is not all job corps but from what i herd most i do have to point that out. I just wished it never happend though


  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Peter Ingemi and Peter Ingemi, Job Corps Fraud. Job Corps Fraud said: Job Corps and the American Dream: […]


  3. Shirley says:

    Bob Confer is a total joke. And this article is a bunch of bull. The government has been bought and paid for by the wealthy, and the big corporations. They and the government are one in the same. I can name on one hand the government representatives who appear to be honest and fighting for their constituents. “The government that has created poverty” is in fact the wealthy classes who want the masses to be poor – how else can they exploit them so they, the rich, can become more wealthy?

    Confer and his ilk just don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes, so they attack Job Corps and health programs by saying that these programs are ruining the country and using jingoism to scare people. Sound familiar? Sound like Fascism, well it is. Why doesn’t he talk about his cronies who run the system and have become millionaires by playing the game?

    Does this Bob Confer, a writer for the New American, a right wing John Birch Society publication, think we are all so stupid as he would hope? Does he think at least some of us don’t see through his distortions and lies? Using Job Corps, Medicare and Medicaid as examples of government waste in his right wing diatribe is despicable, as the right wing is the recipient of most tax handouts. Check the statistics – see which states receive the most tax dollars back from Washington as compared to the tax dollars they contribute to Washington.

    The people in this country are fed a bunch of lies just to keep them stupid and exploitable and they actually believe those lies.


  4. Howard says:

    While there is redundancy in the Job Corps program, for instance, one can earn a GED through BOCES, a community college, public school systems, as well as do work on-line and by watching TV programs, the selling point of Job Corps is that it provides room, board and health services free and the student also earns a stipend when enrolled as a trainee. For homeless youth or those in other negative life situations, this program can be life-saving.

    New American is a magazine published by the John Birch Society and the information on Job Corps Fraud is taken from a larger article that also criticizes Medicare and Medicaid.

    The companies who abuse and make the profit from the “entitlements” this author mentions are the very same right wing nut jobs who read his magazine.

    Read the whole article. These programs and the government are not ruining our country – it’s the right wing contractors who are stealing our tax payer dollars and who have to be monitored every step of the way because they are a bunch of thieves who can’t be trusted.

    I wouldn’t cite anything from a John Birch Society rag publication as having any credibility because while they claim to be fighting for freedom, the only freedom they are concerned with is their own and to hell with the middle and lower classes. Read about the Koch brothers whose father co-founded the John Birch Society. Do you think they care about anyone but themselves and their own pockets?


  5. Howard says:

    Why does this need to be privatized? Why can’t this be part of the public school curriculum?


  6. Trevor Campbell says:

    I have an idea:

    Start teaching really young kids to stay in school, stay out of trouble, learn how to find resources to get a JOB they’d WANT. Do this with some kind of private educational institutions and/or Awareness Campaign to make sure kids don’t end up getting themselves in something that could hurt them and them not know. If there was another alternate for kids other than Job Corps, and if we had a non-gov’t program telling kids to better themselves before they end up like Job Corps kids. If kids don’t have a reason to make a last resort to Job Corps, the program will suffer and the plug will be pulled.

    This would take years to do so, but with the right people starting this, it all has possibilities to work. I plan on seeing this some day.


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