While plenty of things have been placed on hold thanks to a global pandemic, there’s still work to do, and plenty of employers that are hiring — folks just have to know where to look. 

In Long Beach, one option is Job Corps, a nationwide job program that has been offering free job training courses to people across the United States since 1964 as part of a career technical training program launched by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Since then, the effort has expanded with offices across the nation with a goal of providing access trade learning to residents.

The West Long Beach office was established in 1998, inviting roughly 300 students at a time to participate in free learning courses with accredited job training.

In Long Beach, the Job Corps office is expanding its reach with The Bizzell Group, a strategy and consulting group tasked with overseeing the program in the city. While the details of what that expansion will entail are yet to come, Anton Bizzell, president and CEO, says he is confident that his team will be able to build on the location’s existing programs and academic offerings.

 "With record youth unemployment across the nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, career training programs like Job Corps are vitally important to continue moving our economy in the right direction — which is why I'm honored that DOL selected our firm to lead the Long Beach Job Corps Center," Bizzell said. "Through the passion and dedication of the Center staff, we look forward to collaborating with our strategic partners to support each student and continue the great work in the Long Beach community."

The Bizzell Group was awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration to operate the Long Beach location. Beginning April 1, the group will assume full oversight of the 17-acre Job Corps Center and continue to collaborate with the Serrato Corporation — the organization overseeing the location’s educational support training — and work on providing a broader range of support services, resources and programs that will equip Job Corps students with the skills and education to propel their career paths for the future. 

Job Corps training courses are free for eligible students 16 to 24 years old for up to two years at a time. All accepted students have access to room and board while they learn industry skills with a goal to find employment after the courses have been completed.  

The program also provides transitional support services for finding housing, child care and transportation once students complete the program and move toward the next steps in their careers. 

Graduates have the option to enter the workforce, apply for an apprenticeship, move on to higher education or join the military after their programs have been completed. And with training programs that include construction, medical, hospitality and teaching, there’s plenty of opportunity to move forward in a desired industry.

Job Corps students also can opt to take classes at Long Beach City College to get a head start on an associate’s degree for up to two years. Students are provided with money for the bus and food during their time at LBCC.

The Long Beach Job Corps Center is located at 1903 Santa Fe Ave. For more information or to apply, go to longbeach.jobcorps.gov, or call 877-733-5627.

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