WASHINGTON – In August, the first students arrived in the foothills of the Wind River Range of the Rocky Mountains outside of Riverton, Wyoming to begin their vocational training at the new Wind River Job Corps center. At a grand opening ceremony today, U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez, Sen. Mike Enzi, Gov. Matt Mead and Riverton Mayor John “Lars” Baker formally welcomed the students and congratulated them on seizing the opportunity and taking the first steps toward transforming their lives.
“Fifty-one years ago, Job Corps was conceived with the fundamental proposition that when we open doors of opportunity, when we help a young person rise above adversity and unlock her potential, we don’t just empower a single person; we strengthen our communities and the entire nation,” said Secretary Perez. “Today, we open the doors of Job Corps for the first time in Wyoming, and welcome all young people who walk through them with the sincere aim of taking control of their future.”
“This first of its kind in Wyoming, the Wind River Job Corps Center is a fantastic program to ensure that the citizens of Wyoming have the skills and training they need to be leaders in tomorrow’s workforce,” Sen. Enzi said. “A project like this is not any one person’s doing, but a team effort from a lot of folks who did the ground work so this project could move forward. The work done by the city, county, tribal and state governments, and federal agencies to bring this Job Corps Center to the Wind River area will help support Wyoming’s communities and economy for decades to come.”
“Career and technical education give opportunities to young people – they are a road to success,” Gov. Mead said. “I am a supporter of career education. The Job Corps center opens doors and will make a difference for many young people. I thank all those who worked so hard to bring this to Riverton.”
The Wind River Job Corps center boasts a first-of-its-kind petroleum technician training program, designed in consultation with the local business community, to prepare students for careers in Wyoming’s growing energy industry. The center offers training also in accounting, building and construction technology, carpentry, electrical, heavy construction equipment mechanics, equipment operations, heavy truck driving, office administration and welding. When at full capacity, the center will house and train 300 students and employ more than 100 staff. Management & Training Corporation of Clearfield, Utah will operate the Wind River center. MTC operates 19 other Job Corps centers.
Job Corps was established in 1964 with a mission to help economically disadvantaged youth, between ages 16 and 24, earn the education and career technical skills to build pathways to career opportunities and to their own personal success. During its five decades, Job Corps has grown to 126 centers, with locations in 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To date, Job Corps has provided education and training to more than two million young people.