The U.S. Department of Labor will open a new Job Corps Center, just its second one in Iowa. The program offers classroom help to at-risk youth, and also organizes work-based learning experiences, aimed at preparing them for high-paying jobs. Ottumwa Mayor Dale Uehling says the immigrant population is a major reason southeast Iowa is getting this Job Corps Center.
Uehling says there’s been a big increase in the number of new Iowans, particularly Latinos. Uehling says the new one in Ottumwa will be a "satellite center" for the established Job Corps facility in Denison, in Crawford County. He thinks the fact that 140-thousand "at risk" youth have been identified in the state, as well as the increase in Latinos in the region, "must have been a factor."
The U.S. Department of Labor says more than fifty private businesses have agreed to serve as work and training sites, letting participants shadow workers and get their own hands-on experience. It’ll be on Indian Hills Community College at the Ottumwa Airport. A school official says there’s a large under-served population between the ages of sixteen and 24 in the Ottumwa area.
The Denison center offers a high-school diploma program, GED training, a solo parent program, and career technical training. The Job Corps program is the nation’s largest residential education and job training program for at-risk youths. The new Ottumwa center will serve up to 300 youths and is expected to create up to 150 fulltime jobs and another forty to fifty parttime positions.