Idaho youth continue growing through Idaho Job Corps


For Immediate Release: April 4, 2022
Media Contact: Tina Polishchuk, Ed.D,

When Idaho Job Corps welcomed its first group of students in October 2019 at its first location in Nampa, it was a three-year national demonstration project, piloting a new approach to serving youth. Idaho Job Corps is now readily accessible to Idaho’s youth in four locations across the state.

The overall goal? Eventually Serve 750 income-eligible students, ages 16-24, by training them for the workforce.

photo: girl sitting at computerToday, the program is thriving. Idaho Job Corps and the Idaho Department of Labor partner with the College of Western Idaho, College of Eastern Idaho, College of Southern Idaho and North Idaho College to deliver education, training and a whole host of wrap-around services to low-income students with barriers to employment.

To date, some 145 students have already moved through the program, and Idaho Job Corps is serving 195 students throughout the system – 43 of those enrolled just this year.

Idaho’s Job Corps program connects students 16-24 years of age to education, training, employment and support services like health care, meals or transportation to their training site. Students can earn a high school diploma or GED while enrolled at their local community college for training in high-demand jobs such as welding, construction or the medical field.

Students can be enrolled in the program three to 24 months, depending on their career trajectory, and the goal of the program is to place every student into a sustainable job by the time they graduate from the program.

Katie Parker, new to the program, first heard about Idaho Job Corps at Frank Church High School in Boise.

“My mentor saw I was struggling with school and thought more independence would be good for me,” Parker said. “She’s a former student of the old program, heard about the changes since it became Idaho Job Corps, and encouraged me to check it out. She thought it would really help me.”

Parker was impressed, particularly with all the support the program provides.

“It made me feel more secure with my choice,” she said.

Students participate in classes such as personal finance, professionalism, goal setting and other programs that help them become independent adults.

They learn skills including leadership, communication and time management that help them prepare for a career. Students have opportunities to participate in work-based learning, job shadowing, career fairs and regular interaction with employers

Idaho Job Corps also provides many social services for students to remove barriers that get in the way of success. Available services include health care and dental services, healthy meals, wellness training, counseling and life skills training.

In the Treasure Valley, Idaho Job Corps partners with community-based organizations for these services, including Primary Health, Life Ways and Life Counseling, Delta Dental, Valley Ride and more. Other locations also partner with local programs. Through this structure, students can access these services even after graduating from Job Corps.

“The wrap-around nature of services offered to youth through this program is life changing for many of our students,” said Tina Polishchuk, Ed.D. “Our goal is to ensure no one falls through the cracks.”

Idaho Job Corps students are also connected to several volunteer and leadership opportunities in their communities. Students regularly volunteer at senior living homes, humane societies, the Nampa Bike Project, Project Filter, Salvation Army, food banks and more. Through these opportunities, students can acquire leadership skills necessary for them to be successful in their future jobs and in life.

The Beginning

In April 2019, the Idaho Department of Labor received an $18 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor for a three-year demonstration project — Idaho Job Corps — to serve 750 income-eligible students, ages 16-24, by training them for the workforce.

In March 2020, Idaho Job Corps, faced the challenge caused by COVID-19, along with programs across the country. As a result, the Idaho Department of Labor was approved for an additional year to demonstrate the success of this innovative program model.

Despite disruptions caused by the pandemic, Idaho Job Corps celebrated graduates from various locations. Dozens of students have earned their GEDs, high school diplomas and/or certifications. Many other students continue to work toward their associate degree. Popular areas of study include welding, electrical and nursing assistance.

“The pandemic presented many interesting challenges for our students both personally and academically,” said Courtney Hudnall, placement supervisor for Idaho Job Corps. “Yet they continue to thrive and excel. It’s exciting to celebrate this amazing group of students as they graduate and move on to bright, successful futures.”

Students interested in learning more can connect with their local Idaho Job Corps center by calling (208) 442-4500. Students in the Treasure Valley are invited to meet the staff during the monthly Community Night, held at 4:30 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month at the Centennial Center in Nampa.

Learn more about the program, at or call (208) 442-4500. For event information visit

Read about Idaho Job Corps students who are learning new skills and exploring opportunities on the Department of Labor blog,

Link to the articles below:
.State-run Idaho Job Corps Sets Students Up for Success | idaho@work (
CWI’s Partnership with Idaho Job Corps Helps Students Thrive | idaho@work (

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