Category Archives: Students

Idaho youth continue growing through Idaho Job Corps

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 4, 2022
Media Contact: Tina Polishchuk, Ed.D, tina.polishchuk@labor.idaho.gov

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. Continue reading

Apprenticeship Profile: Idaho Forest Group creates new careers for its employees.

Billie Jo Spencer, a filer bencher apprentice at the Moyie Springs sawmill near Bonners Ferry for Idaho Forest Group (IFG), has been moving up the pay scale by increasing her job skills through IFG and Idaho Department of Labor apprenticeship programs.

Billie Jo Spencer

Billie Jo Spencer

The Moyie Springs mill produces about 200 million board feet of dimension lumber products per year. It requires a skilled work force to keep the mill running smoothly and efficiently, IFG officials say.

Spencer started working for IFG 12 years ago, driving a fork lift. She completed the Filer-Fitter apprenticeship a couple years ago, and she’s working on her second apprenticeship as a saw filer.

“I’m always learning something,” she says. “I’m putting teeth in the saws and welding the shoulders.”

photo: workers cutting lumber

There are three levels of being a filer bencher, Spencer says. She’s on level one right now, and hopes to continue to move up to the higher levels. IFG mills are highly automated for efficiency. At the Moyie mill, raw logs are rough-cut by special machinery as they enter the mill on a conveyer belt. Farther down the line, the large blocks of wood are sawed into stud lumber in 8- and 9-foot- long sections. Continue reading

Machine Operator Apprenticeship Opens Doors for Four Magic Valley Students

Program leads to full-time jobs with livable wages

Sabastian Juarez and three classmates – Tanner Pratt, Jonathon Lizardi and Andres Gutierrez  –  have taken control of their futures and are ready for full-time careers with solid livable wages.

The four high school students recently completed a multi-year registered apprenticeship for machine operators that included 150 hours of early-morning classroom work and 2,000 hours of on-the-job training.

Sabastian Juarez at work at High Desert Milk in Burley. Photo courtesy High Desert Milk.

Juarez is now 21 years old with a full-time job at High Desert Milk in Burley, making $25 an hour as an assistant shift supervisor.

“Sabastian, he’s phenomenal,” said Tory Bailey, human resources manager at High Desert Milk and classroom instructor for the machine operator apprenticeship. “He can run anything in the plant. He’s very driven and a quick-learner.”

The Idaho Department of Labor spent five years building the machine operator apprenticeship  from scratch at the request of local manufacturing companies like McCain Foods, High Desert Milk and Fabri-Kal.

Continue reading

Idaho Labor Seeks Youth in Need of Employment, Career, Education Support

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Nov. 22, 2021
Media Contact: Georgia Smith, georgia.smith@labor.idaho.gov

Out-of-school youth between ages 16 and 24 now have numerous opportunities to learn new skills and increase their earnings through apprenticeships, on-the-job and vocational training and much more thanks to a federal program managed by the Idaho Department of Labor.

“Qualified individuals have so many options with this program,” said Keith Whiting, career planner.

We can open doors to new skills, job opportunities and better pay!Hundreds of young people are already benefitting from the program, with more than 1,000 served during the past two years. The state of Idaho receives annual funding – around $2.8 million in 2021 – in Idaho Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds to offer these services.

Continue reading

Labor Seeks Out-of-School Youth for Employment, Training Programs

Idahoans who are out of school and between ages 16 and 24 can learn new skills, discover more job opportunities and earn better pay through two federal programs managed by the Idaho Department of Labor.

Each program has unique characteristics, qualifications and offers on-the-job and vocational training, apprenticeships and advanced education to low-income youth.

Workforce consultants meet with the job seekers to identify interests, goals and develop an individual career plan. Sometimes the plan involves finishing high school or earning a GED. Other times it means skills testing, advanced training and education and paid work experience. Continue reading

Idaho Job Corps Celebrates First Graduating Class

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: May 21, 2021
Media Contact: Tina Polishchuk, tina.polishchuk@labor.idaho.gov

Idaho Job Corps will celebrate its first graduates of 2020 and 2021, Monday, May 24, from 3:30-5:30 p.m., on the grounds of the Centennial Job Corps center, 3201 Ridgeview Drive in Nampa.

Monday’s graduation ceremonies will honor 22 students who accomplished their personal career goals by completing high school, earning their GED or receiving a skills certificate for an in-demand occupation like welding or phlebotomy.

Locally, the Idaho Department of Labor partners with the College of Western Idaho to deliver education, training and a whole host of wrap-around services to low-income students with barriers to employment.

Jayson, Jeremy and Braden (holding certificates) are part of a second class of students to become certified welders.

The Idaho Job Corps program is also available at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls and the College of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls.

Continue reading

BoiseDev – Level up: Idaho programs help skill up workers for new jobs

By Margaret Carmel – BoiseDev senior reporter

Parker Carey got a leg up into his first job with the help of the State of Idaho.

Instead of flipping burgers or busing tables, Carey, 16, is learning the ins-and-outs of the meat cutting trade behind the counter at Idaho Meat and Seafood in Meridian. He earned his high school equivalency degree, learned the basics of food service at Life’s Kitchen last year and then with the help of the Department of Labor he landed at the butcher’s shop to build work experience.

“It feels good,” he said, before clocking in for a shift. “I feel accomplished in my life, like I can actually do things with myself. It’s nice to be able to afford things I couldn’t afford, so I like that part of it too.”

Carey is taking advantage of one of a raft of workforce training programs offered through the Idaho Department of Labor. His program, called WIOA for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, helps connect out of work or underemployed Idahoans with job training in high demand fields. Through the program, the federally-funded program covers nearly the entire cost of wages for an employee like Carey in exchange for a company training them.

Read the full story on the BoiseDev website.

NIC Joins Other Community Colleges Enrolling Idaho Job Corps Students

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Oct. 15, 2020
Media Contact: Tina Polishchuk, (208) 442-4500

North Idaho College is the state’s latest community college to open its doors to Idaho Job Corps students.

The state-run Job Corps program –  designed to help low-income youth obtain higher education and on-the-job training – is also available at the College of Western Idaho in Nampa, the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls and College of Eastern Idaho in Idaho Falls.

Each college is set up to serve 50 additional low-income youth. Idaho Job Corps applicants are enrolled as college students and work toward careers in high-growth jobs like nurses, pharmacy techs, welders, information technology specialists, carpenters, HVAC technicians, electricians, engineers and more. For some programs and students, dual enrollment is an option. Continue reading

State-run Idaho Job Corps Sets Students Up for Success

student cutting board

Hunter, a Job Corps student, cuts a board to be used for a bed built during a community service project.

Ben wanted to pursue a college education, but couldn’t afford the tuition. That all changed when he enrolled in a state-run Idaho Job Corps program which focuses on helping low-income youth obtain higher education or on-the-job training.

“I’ve always been interested in chemistry and I never would have been able to afford college if I hadn’t come here,” Ben said. “I’m going for a chemistry degree at the College of Western Idaho, and I’m going to finish my degree at Boise State or BYU.

Ben enrolled in Idaho’s new state-run Job Corps program thanks to a three-year, $17.7 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to the Idaho Department of Labor, which restructured the program and now manages the Nampa facility.

“Our goal is to provide every student with a job and an hourly living wage of at least $16 by the time they graduate,” said Labor Director Jani Revier. “Depending on individual needs, students can enroll in the program for anywhere between three to 24 months.”

Joining Ben are 44 more students who are currently enrolled in the program. Twenty-six more will start Wednesday, Feb. 5. Idaho Job Corps Manager Tina Polishchuk, Ed.D., expects enrollment to reach 150 students by the end of 2020. 

Idaho Job Corps staff are recruiting students by contacting high school counselors, social service agencies, through word of mouth, social media and by offering free campus tours on Wednesdays. Plans are for the pilot program to expand during years two and three by engaging in partnerships with community colleges in Twin Falls, Idaho Falls and Coeur d’Alene.

“We plan to serve an additional 50 students at each remote location, starting with the College of Southern Idaho and North Idaho College,” said Polishchuk. “Our goal is to have finalized agreements by the end of February.” Continue reading

Innovative Program in North-Central Idaho Prepares Students for Local Manufacturing Jobs

students working on band saw

Ty Johannesen, left, and Jaiden Caviness (both from Lewiston), work together on a project using a band-saw. The two students attended training at Lewis and Clark State College over the summer.

Nezperce High School senior Joe McGuigan is one of a handful of high school students who landed a summer job with a manufacturing company after participating in an industry-based apprenticeship program. He worked for Hillco Technologies last summer, starting at $11 an hour as a summer intern, and he learned a wide variety of skill sets on the job, including driving a forklift and running machines.

There are more than 100 companies engaged in metal fabrication and manufacturing in north central Idaho – machine shops, guns and ammunition, farm equipment manufacturers and more. The workforce serving those companies is aging and nearing retirement age, and there’s a shortage of entry-level workers with the skills necessary to serve the industry.

“Manufacturing has picked up in the small communities in north central Idaho, including in Lewiston and Grangeville, and it’s tough hiring people to work in manufacturing in this area,” said Lenny Hill, McGuigan’s boss and president of Hillco Technologies.

Continue reading