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Explore the perks
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that Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center has to offer.

Job Corps is the nation's largest FREE education and job training program for young adults.

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student and tutor studying the an academic setting

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A Day in the Life at Job Corps

A typical day at Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center is full of activities to help our students prepare for the real world. Students get up early and spend the majority of their day receiving academic and hands-on career technical training.

After class, students study or hang out with friends before dinner in the cafeteria. After dinner, students may do chores in their dorms, study, attend high school classes or tutoring, or participate in clubs and team sports. Most students are in bed by 10:00 PM in order to rest for the next day's tasks.

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Long Text Title
A Day in the Life at Job Corps

A typical day at Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center is full of activities to help our students prepare for the real world. Students get up early and spend the majority of their day receiving academic and hands-on career technical training.

After class, students study or hang out with friends before dinner in the cafeteria. After dinner, students may do chores in their dorms, study, attend high school classes or tutoring, or participate in clubs and team sports. Most students are in bed by 10:00 PM in order to rest for the next day's tasks.

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Job Corps Benefits

Our campus' residential living facilities can house 117 male students and 95 female students in two dorms. Residential students live with up to three roommates and enjoy the following amenities: laundry facilities TV lounges computer labs vending machines bathrooms and showers

Job Corps provides, at no cost to you, any materials and supplies (i.e., books, workbooks, testing materials, specialized and safety equipment) you'll need to complete your academic and career training programs.

For students with dependent children, you may authorize $5, $10, or $15 to be deducted from your living allowance for childcare. Whichever amount you choose, Job Corps' contribution matches five times your contribution. For example, when you contribute $5, the center contributes $25 for a total allotment of $30. A check for the total allotment will be sent to your child's caregiver.

Centers issue, at no cost to you, the uniforms, specialized and safety equipment, and clothing necessary to participate in your career technical training program. After you have been in Job Corps for 30 to 90 days, you will be eligible to receive a clothing allowance of $100 to purchase additional personal clothing items. After that, students within 90 days of graduation from Job Corps can receive an additional $125, and students who enroll in Advanced Training are eligible for an additional $100.

Nutritious and well-balanced meals are prepared daily in the center's cafeteria at no cost to you. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and an evening snack are served Monday through Friday. Brunch and dinner are served on weekends and holidays.

Our wellness center is open daily for basic medical, dental, optometrist, and mental health services which are provided for FREE to you. Our staff of professionals provides basic health care services on a walk-in basis before class and during lunch hours. Appointments with the physician, nurse practitioner, dentist, or mental health consultant are scheduled by the nurse. Upon arrival to our center, you will receive a physical examination which includes HIV and drug testing, immunization updates, and a dental examination. The wellness center also provides 24-hour emergency medical services. Weight management, smoking cessation, pregnancy prevention, and other health-related programs. Information and support groups are provided to students with a history of drug and/or alcohol issues. Outside resources are also available to help you maintain a clean and sober lifestyle while at Job Corps, as well as to assist you in making good lifestyle choices in the home and workplace.

Job Corps pays you a living allowance in cash twice a month. New and readmitted students receive arrival pay in the amount of a $25. After that, the amount of your base pay depends on the number of days you are eligible for payment. For days 1-182, you receive $25 every two weeks. After 183 days, pay is increased to $35. Just like a real job, taxes are deducted, and you'll receive a W-2 at the end of each year.

Facilities

Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center is located on 9 acres in Grand Rapids, Michigan, near the Gerald R. Ford Museum, Devos Hall, and Frederick Meijer Gardens. The center completed major renovations in 2012 that incorporated the latest in green and energy-efficient building methods.


Dorms


Cafeteria


Center Store


Wellness Center


Gym/ Fitness Center


Hair Salon/ Beauty Room


Outdoor Pavillion

Recreational Activities

We want you to have a fun time! Feel free to suggest additional activities to our rec staff.


Arts and crafts


Baseball


Basketball


Dances


Games


Movies


Music


Outings


Pool/ Billiards


Reading


Running


Skating


Swimming


Video games


Volleyball


Weightlifting

At Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center, students find our recreational activities to be a fun and exciting way to socialize or relax at the end of the day. We value our student's feedback and conduct regular surveys to improve our recreational programs.

Student Programs & Organizations

We want your time with Job Corps to be enjoyable. Join an organization and make new friends!

Student Government Association

The Student Government Association (SGA) is the voice of our students and plays a key role in the operation of the center. We encourage all of our students to join the SGA.

The SGA Council is composed of Executive Board officers, Vocational Representatives, and Area Student Leaders. The Executive Board members are the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Community Coordinator. Vocational Representatives are student leaders representing each career training program on center. The Area Student Leaders are mentors, recreational aides, residential advisors, safety marshals, and student tour guides.

In their weekly meetings, SGA representatives make recommendations to the Center Director about rules affecting students including enforcement of rules. The Center Director also consults with the SGA before introducing new rules for students.

SGA members also have the responsibility to:

  • Be a positive role model to the other students.
  • Assist in the decision-making process with the Center Director and Senior Management Team relating to policies affecting student life on and off campus.
  • Develop leadership skills.
  • Practice self-government and have input on center policies.
  • Learn and practice positive leadership and socialization skills.
  • Assist with tours on center.
  • Work with all departments through the SGA Committees.
  • Host activities for the student body.
  • Work closely with the Business-Community Liaison to bridge the gap between the Job Corps program and the community.

After 30 days of enrollment at our center, you may apply for the Leadership Training Class. After you complete three weeks of leadership training, you can apply for SGA membership.

Choir

The Choir Club promotes teamwork, a sense of community, and has a lot of fun with music at the heart of everything we do. Its goal is to enhance the musical, creative, and expressive qualities of all members so that they can find the music inside them and use their own unique voice to share it with the world. Along the way, we will be learning the basics of musical theory as it relates to choral music and applying them firsthand in rehearsals and performances both in-center and out in the community.

Dance (step and hip-hop)

The Dance Club is a celebration of the joy and expression found in all forms of dance, though the club does focus primarily on hip-hop and step dance.

Hip-hop dance is a dance style that is performed primarily to hip-hop music that evolved as part of hip-hop culture. It includes a wide range of styles including breaking, locking, and popping which were created in the 1970s and made popular by dance crews in the United States. Hip-hop dance is often "freestyle" (improvisational) in nature, and this allows for an infinite variety of personal expression and competition between crews.

Stepping is a form of percussive dance that draws upon elements of gymnastics, break dance, tap dance, march, and African and Caribbean dance. The dancer’s entire body is used to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word, and hand claps. The style’s history goes back to military close-order and exhibition drills as well as African foot dances and was popularized by African-American fraternities and sororities during the 20th century.

The goal of Dance Club is not only to learn these dance styles, but to connect with like-minded students, have fun, and forge new friendships at the Center.

Healthy Eating Active Lifestyles

In the past, we have worked under the idea that exercise happens in recreation, nutrition happens in the cafeteria, and health education happens in wellness. It’s time to change that way of thinking. Health happens everywhere—in dorms, in the classroom, even on field trips.

The HEALS Committee is made up of students who are dedicated to promoting this idea and to building a culture at the center that embraces wellness, healthy eating, and physical activity in everything we do. This means teaching fellow students new and easy ways to integrate healthy living throughout the day and making healthy eating and exercise a fun part of center culture.

Leadership program

The Leadership Training Program is modeled after city government and provides a basic overview of government, committees, meetings, and town hall gatherings. Its goal is to help students develop their leadership skills through team building, social and business interaction, problem-solving, career development and the development of diplomatic views. To qualify for this training program, students must show they are mature and have leadership potential. The program itself takes place after school hours but is open to all our students.

This program incorporates the Student Government Association (SGA) which acts as the voice of our students.

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Fostering positive relationships with the communities our centers are in is a key part of what Job Corps does. This can mean performing work in the neighborhood that aligns with a student's career pathway, such as building new playgrounds, patching up sidewalks, or cleaning up parks. At the Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center, it also means assisting the following organizations with their important work:

  • Blandford Nature Center
  • Community events
  • Comprenew
  • Grand Rapids Home for Veterans
  • Heart of West Michigan United Way
  • Local neighborhood associations
  • Mel Trotter Ministries
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Job Corps Students walking through outdoor corridor

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Campus Safety

Job Corps is committed to offering all students a safe and secure environment. That's why we have a Zero Tolerance Policy for violence and drugs. Any student who breaks this policy will be dismissed immediately from Job Corps.

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Campus Safety

Job Corps is committed to offering all students a safe and secure environment. That's why we have a Zero Tolerance Policy for violence and drugs. Any student who breaks this policy will be dismissed immediately from Job Corps.

Explore your journey at Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center

Learn more about our program by diving into the pillars of success.