Job Corps Helping Texomans Excel

Since the Wichita Falls Job Corps office opened about a year ago dozens of students have enrolled.

Job Corps is a free education and vocational training program funded through the U.S. Department of Labor.

We wanted to see how those students are doing now, so Newschannel 6 Lindsey Rogers caught up with one student who is near graduation to find out how the program is helping her.

"I was ready for something meaningful and ready to have a career. I was ready to have something I can be passionate about and something I Love and not just wake up just to get a paycheck," Richelle Lewis said.

She has always had a passion for law enforcement, so about seven months ago, she decided to pursue that passion and enrolled in Job Corps' security corrections program.

"I really didn't expect to get as much as I did out of it when I first enrolled in Job Corps. I thought I would just go to the classes and that would be it but I fell in love with it," Lewis said.

She is currently home for a two week summer break.

She attends the San Marcos campus along with about 1,600 other students.

Those individuals ages 16 through 24 who qualify, are able to choose from more than 100 vocations.

"Job Corps will provide the opportunity for you to obtain a drivers license a high school diploma or G.E.D. and train in trade you'd be able to use to be productive in your life," administration counselor Sally Hood said.

There are three main goals at Job Corps: to provide knowledge and training which will lead to a career in the military, the real world or college.

Lewis will graduate in August. After that, she's decided to continue her education at Austin Community College.

"Job Corps gives you a sense of responsibility, leadership , it definitely makes you come out of it as an adult, more mature more grown up," Lewis said.

Lewis said not only has she gained skills and knowledge needed to succeed in her field of trade, she also gained several friendships.

Other students have also graduated from Job Corps and started careers in Texoma.

"It's proving itself right here in our own neighborhood right here in our own backyard we're seeing the proof of that," Hood said.

"It's what you make of it. It's what you put into it and what you take out of it. If you go in there and be determined and remember what you went there for and keep that in mind the whole time and you'll get everything you need out of it," Lewis said.

Because everything is done on a self-paced basis, the program can take anywhere from nine months to two years depending on the individual and the vocation.

There are six training centers in our region, one in San Marcos, one in McKinney, two in Arkansas and two in Oklahoma.