This is my inaugural post for the year and I’m excited to get to discuss issues that are important to the Job Corps program and the young people we serve. With Job Corps providing thousands of students with education and training at 125 Job Corps centers nationwide, there is no shortage of interesting topics, success stories, and innovative ideas to touch on. This month, I want to highlight a very important issue, not only for Job Corps, but also for educators, parents, and young adults everywhere.
As February is drawing to a close, so too is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. In designating this month, President Barack Obama has highlighted the serious problem of intimate partner violence, especially among young people. In serving nearly 60,000 young adults each year, Job Corps understands the importance of educating our young men and women in strategies to prevent intimate partner violence.
Young adulthood is an exciting time in one’s life. Enrollment in Job Corps is likely the first time a student is living away from home and is responsible for his or her well-being. Our students are still learning how to navigate the world as an adult, which is both exhilarating and scary. Beyond academic and career technical training, Job Corps offers students social skills training to assist them as they build personal and professional relationships.
Job Corps has a long-standing Zero Tolerance Policy regarding violence of all kinds, and we have been vigilant in our enforcement of that policy. Our Job Corps centers work with staff and students to prevent and de-escalate violence, to ensure that the program maintains safe living and learning environments for our students. As part of our efforts, over the last month we have offered nationwide training to staff and students on ways to identify potentially violent situations, preventing violence from occurring, and properly reporting and responding to violence when it does happen.
Our mission at Job Corps is to prepare our students to be successful, not just in a career, but also in life. Emphasizing to them that dating violence is exactly that – violence – and will not be tolerated at our Job Corps centers helps them understand that it should not be tolerated at any point in their lives.
Edna Primrose is the National Director for the Office of Job Corps.