The following article was first published April 2, 2021, on the College of Western Idaho website.
College of Western Idaho (CWI) began an exciting partnership with the Idaho Department of Labor in November 2019 to deliver educational services to Idaho Job Corps students.
Idaho Job Corps serves students, 16-24 years old, by connecting them to skills training and employment. Students can earn a high school diploma or GED while training in CWI classes that prepare students to work in various industries, including welding, construction, and the medical field.
On March 18, CWI and Idaho Job Corps staff were pleased to present a certificate of completion to the first group of students finishing their welding training.
“I’m very pleased and happy about the accomplishments of these students,” said John Russ, Assistant Director of Idaho Job Corps. “It was a joy to be in attendance and see the smiles on each of the students’ faces. Many of them face hardships or difficulties navigating adult life. With the help of their Case Managers, these students took the first of many steps towards a successful future.”
Ben Still is one of the students who has discovered success with Idaho Job Corps and recently earned his welding certificate.
“I’ve really enjoyed the program, and I feel like it has helped me to further my life,” Still commented. “I’ve always been a mechanical person who likes to take things apart and rebuild them, so welding is perfect for me.”
CWI Case Managers help guide students as they navigate and explore different career options available to them through Idaho Job Corps and CWI. Jennifer Wind is a case manager for the program and she has watched him grow as a student.
“His confidence level has skyrocketed after getting his GED through Idaho Job Corps, and it’s really fun to watch him smile and look confident after the success he has found with welding,” said Wind.
Students can enroll in Idaho Job Corps for up to 24 months to explore career pathways and complete work-based learning.
“Idaho’s Job Corps program was built to be responsive to the needs of the community, employers, and the students we serve and CWI is uniquely equipped with the expertise and resources for this kind of work,” said Tina Polishchuk, program operations manager for Idaho Job Corps. “We have many students who never imagined college could be an option for them whether receiving certifications in welding or phlebotomy or taking classes toward an associate’s degree. We’ve genuinely appreciated our partnership with CWI and look forward to the growth we will see as we move beyond the pandemic.”
CWI’s partnerships with businesses and organizations in the community are part of the College’s mission. Idaho Job Corps is a shining example of student empowerment as they develop skills to help them thrive in the workplace and in life.
Visit the Idaho Job Corps website to learn more about the program.