An inside look at Job Corps’ Oneonta site, the programs offered

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 12:04 AM EDT
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ONEONTA (WBNG) - Nationally, Job Corps has been around for almost 60 years. The Oneonta site opened up to the media and 12 News was invited to get a first-hand look at some of its programs and living spaces.

Business Engagement Specialist Jocelyn Plows said she’s aware not everyone knows this program has been available and the center wants to spread the word for those interested in the trade market.

“We definitely want to get the word out that this program is available to folks that are more into the trade market because college isn’t for everyone. Also, it’s getting very expensive out there,” said Plows. Plows said the goal is to have students leave the Otsego County site without debt and with a job placement.

“The mission is to assist eligible youth and connect them to the workforce. So we’re actually helping the students to be successful, but we’re also helping the workforce,” said Center Director Thayne Bodenmiller.

Students are taught a vocational trade, independent living skills, and employment skills. The 12 News team got a look at some of the paths to take, such as Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA), Cement Mason (CM), and Smart Grid Training. “We offer programs that are in high-growth industry sectors, so the trades that we offer result in jobs right away,” said Bodenmiller. Some of the other opportunities include automobile technician, tile setter, and advanced training drone pilot.

For ages 16 to 24 to learn and reside at the Otsego County site, the center is focused on students that are within a certain financial bracket. “If you qualify for free or reduced school lunch, if you qualify for SNAP benefits, you’re automatically eligible to enroll in this program,” said Plows. “For our folks that are 18 and above, we go off of your tax records.”

Plows went over how this opportunity is different from BOCES or a trade school. “Normally, we can get all the training, high school diploma, and trade certification within those two years. They’re also getting your life skill opportunities, leadership opportunities, and the career transition services, which is a lot of mock interviewing, resume writing, financial literacy, and things of that nature.”

During the July 27 tour, it was disclosed that folks come to this Oneonta site from all over, such as our area, around New York, surrounding states, and from across the nation.

To learn more about this national residential career training program or to become a student, head to this website.

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