Job Corps program at CSI entering second year

“It’s not your grandfather’s job corps”
Published: Jul. 31, 2021 at 4:14 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — The U.S. Department of Labor helps fund the Job Corps, a free education and training program.

While the entity itself has been around since 1964, there is a pilot program in the Gem State.

“It’s not your grandfather’s job corps,” said CSI Job Corps Program Director Silvana Dice.

Students used to stay at residential centers, now four different Idaho community colleges, including the College of Southern Idaho, are tasked with running the program to help improve the quality of young people’s lives.

“What we’re trying to do is really meeting the demand in our labor force here for the Magic Valley,” Dice said. “We know that construction is booming, we know that welding is really sought after, so we’re trying to train them around careers in demand.”

The path to a step-up can include a G.E.D, a Career Technical Certificate, or an Associate Degree.

“Since (I was) in back my country, I always dreamed of finishing my school,” said Job Corps student Prince Aganze.

Aganze is a refugee originally from the Congo and then Burundi. He’s been in Idaho for the last five years and finally qualified for the Job Corps at CSI. He wants to be a welder.

“I want to finish my school to get a better job and to help my parents give back to the community, and to inspire other people,” Aganze said.

The free program serves the eight counties that make up the Magic Valley and has a capacity of 50. CSI has served around 40 individuals so far.

However, Dice welcomes anyone to see if they qualify since it’s not a hard cap at 50.

“If we do get to our capacity, we can open the contract, we can get 100-200 students in the program,” Dice said.

According to Dice, the program has about two more years based on the pilot money given but thinks it will be extended due to the success the program has had so far.

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