Columbia Basin Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center

Gamer turns college Graduate at Columbia Basin Job Corps CCC

September 30th, 2010

Three years ago, Jeremey Hipkins was just another 24-year-old playing video games, working dead-end jobs and going nowhere. Today, he’s got a list of qualifications as long as your arm and a bright, productive future. Like so many other successful young people, Jeremey found his niche through Columbia Basin Job Corps CCC.

After Jeremey graduated from high school in Oregon, he worked at a call center and a convenience store until he found himself out of work, and with no particular skills. The folks at the unemployment center suggested he look into Job Corps. He did, and was impressed with what he found.

“I did some research on it and found out they have a CISCO [computer networking] program,” Jeremy says. “My high school also had a CISCO program, which I was unable to finish. It’s the information technology field. I’ve always been into computers. You can actually make a career out of your hobby.”

There wasn’t enough room in the CISCO program when Jeremey first arrived at CBJC CCC, so he started Facility Maintenance instead. He planned to transfer when a CISCO spot came open. By the time it did, he was more than two-thirds of the way finished with Facility Maintenance.

In the CISCO program, Jeremey racked up 25 college credits through the Basin Tech Prep program (which also doubled as Job Corps classroom credit) and achieved certifications in CISCO and ISP. He gained experience working for Bulldog IT, and on top of it all, was part of the Blue Goose Fire Crew, training after hours to fight fires across the Northwest.

When he completed the CISCO program, Jeremey was selected for the Advanced Career Training Program at Columbia Basin Job Corps CCC. The Job Corps Center paid for his tuition as he added to his high-tech skills. On Fridays, when college class wasn’t in session, he finished the coursework for the Facilities Maintenance program he had started when he first entered Job Corps.

On May 20 of this year, Jeremey graduated from Columbia Basin Job Corps CCC as a triple completer and also received the Center Standards Officer Award for perfect conduct during his time there. Two weeks later he graduated from BBCC’s Computer Science program with honors.