The Job Corps program was created during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson in
1964 as part of Johnson’s War on Poverty and Great Society initiatives that sought to expand
economic and social opportunities for Americans, especially minorities and the poor. Job Corps
is one of the oldest social programs in the federal government today. A product of the Economic
Opportunity Act of 1964, the Job Corps was first set up by Sargent Shriver, a member of the
Kennedy family who ran many of Johnson’s social programs. Shriver modeled the Job Corps on the
Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, which provided room, board, and
employment to thousands of unemployed people.
The first National Director of the Job Corps program was Dr. S. Stephen Uslan, who was appointed
by President Lyndon Johnson and reported directly to Sargent Shriver. The current national
director of the Office of Job Corps is Lenita Jacobs-Simmons The Job Corps program is currently
authorized under Title I-C of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
Our Center's History
In 1913, Elizabeth N. Newton of Fredonia, New York, willed $150,000 to be used to build a tuberculosis hospital in Chautauqua County, NY. To this end, 176 acres of the old Gilbert Pierson farm was purchased, construction began, and the new Newton Memorial Hospital admitted its first patient in 1920. By the 1950s, considerable advances in the treatment of tuberculosis made the hospital no longer necessary for the region. The land and buildings were sold by the county in 1959 to the Assumptionist Fathers, and the site was a seminary called Our Lady of Lourdes from 1960–1967. In 1977, the U.S. Government purchased the facility, and the Cassadaga Job Corps Center opened in March of 1978.