By Emory Bryan, News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Young people looking for work can get free training through Job Corps. It's a federal program designed to help teenagers finish high school and move into the workforce.
Students at Tulsa Job Corps are training in culinary arts, hoping for good jobs in food service. This is one of nine trades offered to students.
"I wasn't doing anything, and I got here and made something of myself," said Rod Wilkins, Job Corps Student.
Wilkins is 20-years-old and says he was working dead end jobs when he heard about free training through Job Corps. Soon he'll have his state certification for security work and will have paid nothing for it.
"Every student that comes here basically gets a $25,000 scholarship, in my case, I live here and go to school here and they pay for all of it free, so it's a really good deal," said Wilkins.
Food service is the most visible program, but other students train in carpentry and office technology. The training is a bridge between education and employment.
"And we work with a lot of employers who have specific needs from their employees and it gives them a chance to try out the student, rather than hire and it may not work out, they get a chance to test drive, they test drive each other and see if it's a workable match," said Caeser Latimer, Tulsa Job Corps.
Younger students like Kaci Biggers also train and live at Job Corps. She's 18, and says she was too hard headed for high school, but has turned around now.
"I love it, that's why I'm taking advantage of it, because if it wasn't for Job Corp, I would be doing nothing," said Biggers.
The training is available for low income students between 16 and 24-years-old. They spend on average about nine months at Job Corps.