Alaska Job Corps Center

Alaska Job Corps prepares students for lifelong success during Career Readiness Fair

June 9th, 2017

It is never too early to start students on the path to career success. The Alaska Job Corps Center held an all-day Career Readiness Fair on Wednesday, June 7, to prepare students for lifelong achievement in the workforce.

At the Alaska Job Corps Center, students are provided with both vocational and academic training. Yesterday, they also learned all about the essential skills and resources they need to succeed as great employees in their chosen careers. The day featured eight presentations and workshops with multiple speakers from both inside and outside the Center. Community speakers came from the Matanuska-Susitna College, Alaska Family Services, the United Way of Mat-Su, NANA Corporation, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the State of Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Mat-Su Jobs Center.

“Even though it’s important to teach students how to best do their jobs—by learning the academic and vocational skills they need, it’s vital for them to learn all of the tools needed for long-term success in their professional lives,” said Malyn Smith, Alaska Job Corps Center Director. 

The different sessions included topics such as “Career Exploration and Planning,” where speakers from Alaska Native corporations spoke about integrating Alaska Native culture with U.S. corporate culture. Students also learned about how to make the transition into the workforce, and how to secure and keep a job. Another workshop focused on community resources, such as how to find childcare and other services to help them balance life and work necessities. During another session, “Journey to Independent Living,” students made sample budgets and learned how find housing and transportation needed to get them to and from a job.

During a dynamic, interactive finale provided by Tamika Ledbetter, Employment Services Manager for the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development Mat-Su Jobs Center, students learned about the all-important “soft skills” or career skills needed to become great employees, such as professionalism, punctuality, and social and communication skills.

“I gained a lot of knowledge during the fair, including that there are a lot of resources available if you know where to look. I realized the importance of being able to work independently while also knowing the value of teamwork,” said Russell Buckmaster, an Alaska Job Corps student in the carpentry trade. “I also learned that it’s important to show initiative in your work.”

The sessions were followed by a fashion show where students demonstrated the best professional clothing for each of their trades, as well as best business/interview dress.

All Alaska Job Corps students participated in the Career Readiness Fair, no matter how far along they were in their trade and academic progress.

“We want our students to be thinking about their career goals from the moment they enter Job Corps,” added Smith. “It’s never too early to develop the skills required to lead successful lives.”

The Alaska Job Corps Center is a federally funded career training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and managed by Chugach Educational Services, Inc. The Center is committed to providing the highest quality programs for young adults by offering instructions in academics, trades and life skills through innovative methods that respond to the unique individual and group needs of today’s youth.

Story by Carin Meyer, Business Community Liaison. Photo by Carin Meyer. Caption: A community speaker teaches Alaska Job Corps students the tools they need to live independently during a Career Readiness Fair session called “Journey to Independent Living.”