U.S. Department of Labor’s Homestead Job Corps Center joined many of the 125 Job Corps centers across the country to celebrate the third annual “National Job Corps Commencement Day” ceremony on Aug. 23 to congratulate the Job Corps students who completed the program this year.
Recent Job Corps graduates employed in Florida; employer partners; local, state and federal policymakers; community leaders; family members, and many others recognized these students’ achievements and the investment they made in their futures and community.
“The American Dream is neither material nor is it only available to a certain class or race of people,” said State Rep. Kionne L. McGhee, keynote speaker at Homestead Job Corps Center’s ceremony. “It is simply having a chance to do what was not done the first time around. That’s what the Job Corps program is all about,” he added.
“For many of you today seemed like a distant dream when you began your studies just a short time ago,” said Luis Cerezo, the center’s director. “Your apprehensions were many. Substantial sacrifices had to be made in order for you to pursue full-time studies. Through your own resolve and your commitment to personal growth, you have persevered to make your time here a life-changing reality.”
Homestead Job Corps Center is one of 125 Job Corps centers located across the country and in all 50 states. Aunique national program, Job Corps offers at-risk youth a set of diverse academic opportunities and career pathways tailored to meet the needs of business and industry. Each year, Job Corps gives tens of thousands of youth a second chance to complete their education and advance into careers, higher education or the military.
Job Corps has served more than 3 million out-of-work young adults and underserved youth nationally. Many are high-school dropouts or public-assistance recipients, and Job Corps helps them become active contributors to their communities.
In January 2013, the Department of Labor announced a nationwide enrollment freeze, halting student enrollments at every Job Corps center across the nation for the first time in Job Corps’ nearly 50-year history. After the nationwide enrollment freeze, Homestead Job Corps Center re-opened its doors to students in June.
Many local, state and federal government officials or their representatives were in attendance. U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia addressed the nearly 100 graduates, their friends and family at the federally funded education and job training facility. He congratulated the graduates and all those who supported them along the way.
Local business leaders attended the ceremony at Homestead Job Corps Center to support a program that benefits the local economy. The average Job Corps center supports 228 local jobs, and every dollar invested in Job Corps returns almost $2 to the local economy. Nationally, Job Corps centers support about 30,000 jobs, the vast majority of which are with private businesses.