Alyssa Sutton

Job Corps is a federally funded, no-cost, training and educational program that assists young adults in becoming self-sufficient.

Although there isn’t a Job Corps campus in Union County, local youth can now take advantage of Job Corps opportunities thanks to Admissions Counselor John Harp.

“La Grande has not been adequately (served) by Job Corps,” Harp said, explaining that the closest representatives are in Idaho and Washington. “Job Corps decided to put me in La Grande to reach out to this community and surrounding communities.”

Harp will be representing Job Corps –– through orientations and networking –– in Union County, Hermiston and as far as John Day.

Job Corps is a program administered by the United States Department of Labor that offers career training in more than 30 trades, designed for young adults ages 16 to 24. While in the program, students have the opportunity to earn their general education diploma (GED) or high school diploma, if they haven’t already, as well as obtain a driver’s license. They are provided with housing, meals, basic medical assistance, clothing allowances and a weekly stipend of as much as $35.

Students live on a Job Corps campus, of which there are 11 across the Northwest. The closest campus to Union County is in Nampa, Idaho.

“It’s a pretty nice campus,” Harp said.

He explained a Job Corps campus is set up much like a college campus, with similar rules and structures. Students live in dorms with anywhere from two to eight roommates, and there are activity rooms and facilities such as gyms and rock climbing walls on some of the campuses. Harp said free time is a privilege that’s earned.

For the complete story, see the Dec. 20 edition of The Observer.