Iroquois Job Corps promotes programs at local site on 60th anniversary

Photo by Tom Rivers: from left include Job Corps students Infinity Hall-Caswell, Trevon Stringer and Luke Kantor, Admissions and Career Transition Services manager for the Iroquois Job Corps.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 July 2024 at 3:26 pm

ALBION – Students and a manager at the Iroquois Job Corps in Shelby visited the Orleans County Legislature last week to highlight the 60th anniversary of the Job Corps program.

The local Job Corps is one of 120 across the country. Job Corps says millions of young people have been changed because of the transformative nature of the program.

Born out of the War on Poverty and signed into law as the Economic Opportunity Act on August 20, 1964, Job Corps has provided safe housing, education, career and technical training opportunities, and support services for deserving young people, Job Corps officials said.

The Iroquois campus can serve 225 students who are ages 16 to 24. They receive training in six main programs: brick masonry, carpentry, electrical, commercial painting, clinical  medical assistant, and certified nursing assistant.

Students stay on campus and receive other education. Some of those programs include work towards an equivalency diploma, and driver’s education.

The local Job Corps is drawing more students from Western New York, including the rural GLOW (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming), Wayne, Monroe and Niagara counties, said Luke Kantor, Admissions and Career Transition Services manager for the Iroquois Job Corps.

“They can better themselves, earn their GED and a trade or skill,” Kantor told county legislators.

Two current students spoke to legislators last week and praised the program.

Infinity Hall-Caswell and Trevon Stringer are both from Rochester. Hall-Caswell is in the CNA program and will be going to GCC with a goal of becoming a registered nurse.

“It’s been a life-changing experience,” she said about Job Corps.

Stringer, 23, enrolled in Job Corps in the electrical program. He said Job Corps has built his confidence to live by himself and equipped him with more skills to be successful.

“I’ve seen a lot of violence and people on the wrong path,” Stringer said. “I didn’t want that for myself.”

Job Corps students do many projects in the community, including helping to build dog runs at the PAWS Animal Shelter, constructed benches and chairs for Medina Rotary, and painting rooms at the Shelby Town Hall.

The center also has a local community relation council and a workforce council. The workforce council includes union reps and business leaders who give insight on how Job Corps can best prepare students for careers when they graduate.

The Iroquois Job Corps will celebrate graduation on Aug. 16.