Center News

Events, stories & announcements

Cassadaga Job Corps Center

Published: March 11, 2011 | 9:01 AMARRA

Students at the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy are exploring healthier lifestyles by adding fresh, locally grown options to their center cafeteria. They are also getting involved with a group that raises awareness of the importance of buying locally.

These healthy initiatives were driven from an event students and staff members attended this past summer called Locavore Kids. Cassadaga Job Corps Academy Culinary Arts students attended the event at Barlow's Mill, a locally owned organic farm, where they learned about buying local produce and received organic gardening tips for their on-center garden. The Culinary students provided a cooking demonstration using vegetables grown in their center's garden and worked at a booth providing samples of locally grown organic vegetables.

“Our community partners have been key in teaching our students the importance of healthy eating and organic gardening. I'm pleased to see so many students expressing an interest in gardening, and I hope it will teach them to lead healthier lives when they leave Job Corps,” said Janet Forbes, the Business and Community Liaison at the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy.

Students and staff began enjoying the benefits of eating fresh produce from their organic garden last summer. Students have enjoyed maintaining the garden, which includes tomatoes, squash, green peppers, and cilantro.

Construction students are also helping to expand the garden through the use of cold frames, which will extend the garden's growing season by protecting plants from cold weather. A local master gardener recently visited the center and showed the students how to build the frames.

When the weather finally warms up this spring, you'll know where to find the Cassadaga Job Corps Academy students: in the garden!

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Troy Carter

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:09 PM

Like many Job Corps graduates, Troy Carter began his life in a low-income neighborhood with nothing but a dream of music industry success and a drive to make it happen. After struggling to balance his education with a budding music career, Carter enrolled in the former Chesapeake Job Corps Center in Port Deposit, Maryland in 1990.

Carter quickly graduated from Job Corps with a GED. Saying the program "helped me experience independence for the first time,” Carter applied his new skills and perspective with renewed focus to his music industry ambitions.

Today he is the CEO of Coalition Media Group, a successful Beverly Hills, California, artist management and digital marketing company. He has worked closely with superstars like Sean "Diddy" Combs, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Will Smith, Eve, Nelly, and Lady Gaga.

Carter says America needs institutions like Job Corps because building leaders "starts in school" with students who "don’t stop dreaming and work hard.” He is living proof that, if just given the opportunity, tomorrow’s leader could be anyone, even an ambitious young dreamer from West Philadelphia.

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Monique Williams Jordan

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:11 PM

With a pinch of passion, a sprinkle of creativity and a generous amount of determination, "Chef Moe," Monique Williams, has turned her culinary aspirations into a recipe for success.

Her journey began as a culinary arts student at Woodstock Job Corps Center in Maryland - the same school where she landed her first job. After several years of teaching and inspiring other young chefs, Williams became the first former Job Corps student to become an advanced instructor at Anne Arundel Community College’s hands-on culinary program.

Chef Moe was recognized during the 45th Anniversary of Job Corps celebration and later joined her Woodland Job Corps Center culinary students to cook with Chef Robert Irvine from the Food Network show Dinner: Impossible. "The opportunity to make a life-changing difference in the lives of other young people is very special to me, and I will forever be grateful to Job Corps for giving me that," said Williams.

Chef Moe’s work in the kitchen is truly inspired, but it’s her gift for inspiring others to achieve independence and success, no matter where they come from, that has the power to change the world. We can’t wait to see what she cooks up next.

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Construction Projects Improve Efficiency

Published: May 19, 2011 | 9:19 AMARRA

The Cassadaga Job Corps Center, in Cassadaga, N.Y., completed a major renovation of its Culinary Arts building, refurbishing features from the ground up that improve its appearance and its functionality. Building improvements include new brickwork, drywall, and ceilings, as well as energy-saving features such as high-efficiency HVAC systems, windows, and lighting fixtures. The new design will also help the center withstand the harsh winter weather conditions in the area.

Renovation contractor Chris Nichter of Nichter Construction saw the project through from start to finish and knows firsthand how each of the new features will better serve the student population. “The old structure was very weak,” Nichter said. “Now the building is completely renovated with significant upgrades, and it is very comfortable for the students who will use the building for training classes day-in and day-out.”

The Westover Job Corps Center, in Chicopee, Mass., is working with local contractors on the construction of approximately 1.5 acres of stationary, ground-based solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Once the solar panels are installed, the new system will serve as an alternative energy source that will decrease the center's dependency on outside power sources. The panels will add 150 to 200 kilowatts to the center's current power system.

The center and contractors are also working to identify training opportunities for students during the installation of the panels, a prime opportunity for students to learn more about emerging technologies and energy-efficiency in the construction industry.

Westover hired Massachusetts-based Palmer Federal Constructors to complete the solar panel installation, enhancing the local economic impact of the project. The contractor is tasked with designing and constructing the ground-based solar panel system and is currently working with the center to prepare for installation. Numerous site visits have been completed, and the solar panels have arrived on center. Currently, the center is working with the contractor on the beginning stages of the project that will continue through spring 2011.

Job Corps received more than $211 million in ARRA funds for the construction of new facilities and renovations of existing structures. These projects have been a significant factor in Job Corps' ability to commit to the goals put forth by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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Judge Sergio A. Gutierrez

Published: May 19, 2017 | 2:12 PM

Job Corps' motto is "Success Lasts a Lifetime" and nowhere is this more evident than in the story of Idaho Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sergio Gutierrez, who received his GED and studied carpentry at the Wolf Creek Job Corps Center in the early 1970s.

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Sergio crossed the border with his family and settled in Stockton, California. His father struggled to make ends meet for his six children on field workers’ wages and his mother suffered from crippling mental illness. To ease their burden, Sergio, then four years old, and one of his sisters moved to Carlsbad, New Mexico, to live with their loving grandmother in a leaky, hole-covered house that he remembers as barely habitable. Despite this poverty and hardship, Sergio was inspired by his grandmother’s wisdom and promised her that he would make something of himself.

When Gutierrez was 12, his beloved grandmother died, and he moved back to Stockton with his mother, his farm worker stepfather, and 12 other siblings. Scraping by in these conditions proved to be too much for the young man. He dropped out of high school after finishing 9th grade and fell in with a crowd of older boys that he admits were hoodlums.

Often homeless and frustrated with barely getting by on menial jobs, Sergio went to an employment office where he met a woman who recommended the Job Corps program to him. Resolving to fulfill his promise to his grandmother, he enrolled that day. This was when his new life began.

At 16, Sergio began attending the Wolf Creek Job Corps Center in Oregon. The structure, support, and serenity of the center "gave me an affirmation that I could do something with my life." Sergio quickly became a leader among the students and graduated with carpentry skills and a GED.

Transformed by his experiences at Wolf Creek, Sergio went on to earn both an undergraduate and a law degree, practiced law, and was appointed to the Idaho Court of Appeals in 2002.

Judge Gutierrez attributes his success to the Job Corps program. "I was not going down the right path, and the program literally saved my life," he said. “My life turned around when I enrolled in the Wolf Creek Job Corp Center in Glide, Oregon. Job Corps saved my life. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boise State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Hastings Law School. But I am most proud of the GED that I attained at Wolf Creek because it represented a new start in my life.”

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