U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen announced today that Jerry Ingersoll has been selected as National Director of the Forest Service Job Corps Program, a rigorous vocational training program with a demanding academic curriculum that prepares students to excel in the 21st century workforce. Ingersoll has served as the acting director of the Forest Service Job Corps Program since February.
Ingersoll began his Forest Service career as a John Gardner Fellow in 1985. He has spent the last 35 years with the agency serving as a forester, planner, district ranger and national program manager in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, DC.
“Jerry brings a wealth of experience to this position, and his commitment to the Job Corps Program has been instrumental to ensure student safety and continued onsite and virtual operations at our Job Corps sites during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chief Christiansen. “We look forward to Jerry’s continued leadership in this role and to our longstanding relationship between the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Labor.”
The Forest Service operates the highest number Job Corps centers in the nation. In 2019, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue called for a reform of the Forest Service’s Job Corps program to more closely align with the agency’s mission. In response to the Secretary’s Direction, the Forest Service created a Job Corps advisory board, made up of professionals from every level of the agency, to provide recommendations to director as reform efforts continue. Additional reforms include launching a graduation coaching program and two apprenticeship pilot programs.
Today, Forest Service Job Corps curriculum development is based on what local communities and nearby national forests and grasslands need. Student training will cover wildfire prevention and suppression, as well as infrastructure work such as building, maintaining and repairing trails, bridges and roads. Job Corps training helps students take on skilled work as the next generation of land managers in high-quality jobs.
Job Corps is the nation’s largest residential, educational, and career technical training program that prepares economically disadvantaged youth, ranging in age from 16 to 24, for productive employment.
Forest Service Job Corps centers offer training in 30 industries, such as renewable resources and energy, carpentry, heavy equipment operations information technology, advanced manufacturing, finance and business, and natural resources trades such as forestry, firefighting, and urban forestry.