LORING, Maine (WAGM) –
Loring Job Corps Center is celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year. NewsSource8′s Brian Bouchard visited the center to see how it has changed over the years.
“Our first group of students came January 6th of ‘97 so yeah, it’s been an amazing journey”
Bab Cote has been a part of Loring Job Corps since the very beginning, even before students arrived in 1997. Cote who is a Career Counselor says that a lot has changed in those 26 years.
“It’s changed dramatically and in a very positive way. Job Corps continually assesses their program, their offerings with the trades.”
Cote went on to describe how the programs offered by Job Corp have evolved with the times. While they still offer traditional trade education, such as Carpentry, or Commercial Truck Driving, they’ve also integrated tech jobs, such as information technology.
“One thing that a lot of people don’t realize is this is like the hidden gem in their backyard. They don’t realize that they have the opportunity for free training and education right here. Job Corps provides training and education for 16 to 24 year olds. We’re a federally funded program, it’s absolutely free.”
Roger Felix, Outreach and Admissions Manager for Loring Job Corps says that over the last 25 years, around 15,000 young people went through the various programs at Loring Job Corps. Many students, like Melvin Brunson, say Job Corps has been exactly what they needed.
“At School I was failing a lot in all my classes, and here I’m actually doing better. I was put here as like punishment for failing school and I don’t see this as a punishment. I see this almost like a vacation.”
Brunson, who has been at Loring Job Corps for a few months is studying carpentry, and hopes to find a job as a carpenter once he graduates.
“If you don’t know your future, this place will help you out a lot. And just have fun while you’re at it.”
When asked what the next 25 years looks like for Loring Job Corps, Felix had this to say:
“I think the next 25 years are going to be so amazing for people involved. We just enhanced our IT trades, they continuously grow. Our advanced training programs are bar none, now we’re getting students from all over the united states, from other job corps coming here for secondary advanced training.”
In a small ceremony acknowledging the milestone anniversary, the Loring Job Corps Honor Guard paid tribute to all the students and staff that have gone before them, and will inevitably follow.
Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8
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