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Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers

Young woman using circular sander to sand a large piece of wood
Curlew Job Corps student starts life over, grasps for the stars

Washington - Meeting Samantha "Sam" Berko, it's to imagine the rough start she's had in life. Berko, currently enrolled in Curlew Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center's union painting trade, is confident and outgoing. If a visitor arrives at Curlew, without hesitation she makes a beeline to warmly welcome them to on-center.

Group photo: A group of youn adults stnad outside the entrance to a mobile kitchen truck
Job Corps mobile kitchen knocks it out of the park once more

Montana - Oops...they did it again. Who you ask? Job Corps students, manning a mobile kitchen that spent two weeks preparing three meals a day to the 150 personnel responding to the Colt Fire at Seely Lake, Mont. The successful track record of the three Job Corps mobile kitchens has national catering contractors looking over their shoulders. The significance of Job Corps' culinary support is even more apparent considering that prior attempts by other catering services fell short of fire contracting standards.

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Job Corps mobile kitchens serve meals firefighters crave

COLORADO - Food is one of the basics on the hierarchy of a wildland firefighter's needs, and the food served up by any of the three Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center mobile kitchens is fantastic. Why? Beyond what's needed for operations, Job Corps chefs purchase the highest quality of food their budgets allow—gourmet coffee anyone?

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Job Corps students remodel Beaverhead Work Center

NEW MEXICO - Buildings don't last forever. Whether it's a home or a business, maintenance issues pop-up that require attention. So, who do you call? Gila National Forest Supervisor Camille Howes called on the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers, an often-untapped resource, for an extreme makeover of seasonal housing at the remote Beaverhead Work Center on the Black Range Ranger District.

Portrait: Shagari McNeil in a dark polo shirt against a blue background.
Student perspective: Developing my love of language through Job Corps

My name is Shagari McNeil. I am a student in the office administration/business technology career technical training program at Lyndon B. Johnson Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center in Franklin, North Carolina. I discovered Job Corps and the opportunities it offers through my family. After much research and learning different perspectives, I decided to enroll. The variety of training available to help me get a high-paying job led to my decision to enroll.

Job Corps is the largest nationwide residential career training program in the country. The program helps eligible young people ages 16 through 24 complete their high school education, trains them for meaningful careers, and assists them with obtaining employment. The U.S. Forest Service, modeling the program after the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, played a central role in the creation of Job Corps.

While Department of Labor leads Job Corps, in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture, the Forest Service operates 24 Civilian Conservation Centers. These centers have a unique mission. They combine the traditional Job Corps program with an opportunity to serve rural America and gain the skills required to conserve the nation’s natural resources. Civilian Conservation Centers provide real life solutions to the challenges of youth unemployment and offer an integrated approach to address the nation’s conservation challenges.

At Civilian Conservation Centers, young people can:

  • Earn a high school diploma or GED
  • Earn a vocational certificate in over 30 trades aligned with industry certifications
  • Forge a career in natural resource conservation, forestry, or wildland firefighting
  • Participate in work-based learning with employers in high-growth industries
  • Prepare for post-secondary education through partnerships with local colleges 
  • Participate in service learning through community and environmental stewardship projects
A young woman holding an ax CAREERS BEGIN HERE
Interested in Becoming a Job Corp Student? Get Started Here!


Educating and Connecting Youth to Careers and the Great Outdoors

Firefighting and Natural Resources


Photo of students standing with heavy machinery.



Photo of job corps students celebrating at a graduation ceremony.