Carl D. Perkins Job Corps Center

Carl D. Perkins & Ky Job Corps holds historic event!

March 31st, 2015

On Thursday, March 27th, 2015,  the Kentucky Job Corps Consortium in conjunction with Kentucky Outreach & Admissions hosted graduation ceremonies at the Kentucky State Capitol in honor of Job Corps 50th Anniversary. Participating centers were the, Carl D. Perkins, Muhlenberg, Earle C. Clements, Whitney M. Young, and Great Onyx Job Corps Centers.   

The Opening Ceremony was conducted by the Earle C. Clements Pre-Military Cadet Color Guard, followed by a pledge to the American flag, and then a beautiful solo of the National Anthem, performed by Reann Gibbons, also a student of Earle C. Clements Job Corps Academy.

Kentucky’s 56th Lieutenant Governor, Crit Luallen as the first honorary guest speaker. Luallen is known as one of Kentucky’s most experienced and respected public leaders with his tenure of serving with six Governors and being elected twice to statewide office. The words she delivered were not only powerful, but conveyed with strong emotion and intent. Luallen expressed that “everything you have accomplished thus far is very meaningful for your future, but more importantly so are your morals and how you conduct yourself by giving back to your communities, is most important.”

The second honorary guest speaker was House Speaker of Kentucky, Gregory D. Stumbo, who has twenty-four years of legislative leadership holding a record in Kentucky’s history.Stumbo shared his knowledge and history of the program recalling when Sergeant Shriver began the early developments of the Job Corps program. Stumbo said “the Kentucky Commonwealth is very lucky to have so many centers serving such a great program, improving the lives of so many young adults. “Congratulations to each of you for your many accomplishments.” 

All participants were also fortunate to hear moving words from former Whitney M. Young Job Corps graduate, DeeDee Perkins.Perkins left a bad home life at the age of nineteen.She lived for a short time at the Salvation Army where she heard about Job Corps.She graduated from the center with her Certified Nursing Assistant and Medical Office Support certifications She articulated to the graduates to “continue on from Job Corps with what you have learned, be successful, but never forget to thank those who have helped you along the way.Those individuals may have been a parent, a grandparent, aunt, or Job Corps staff member…those individuals are priceless.”

The last guest speaker was Patrick McLevaine, an Earle C. Clements Job Corps automotive technician graduate.   He approached the podium with no speech in hand and spoke directly from the heart McLevaine shared with the graduates, “I was kicked out of high school at the age of fifteen for drugs.I entered Job Corps with literally nothing.  I now own two vehicles and a house and I make all my payments the week before they are due.The only place you will find success before work is in the dictionary.You must always work hard for what you plan to have in life. “  

Eric Jones, Center Director of the Muhlenberg Job Corps Center conducted the tassel and closing ceremonial remarks. All graduates and guest enjoyed a reception on the 2nd floor of the capitol after the ceremony.

Approximately 3000 students from various counties and surrounding states are studying to improve their lives at a Kentucky Job Corps Center.  In August of 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill that focused on solutions to end poverty, which brought about the first Job Corps Center for men that started in January 1965 and the first Job Corps Center for women in April 1965.  Fifty years later Job Corps continues to provide career technical training and education for low-income individuals ages 16 through 24.  Over the years Job Corps has trained more than 2.7 million young adults to become employable tax paying citizens across the United States.  Job Corps is the nation’s largest and oldest federally funded career training and education program. 

Carl D. Perkins Job Corps is one of seven in the state of KY, and currently ranks # 1 in the state and # 3 in the nation out of the 125 Job Corps Centers.