CLEARFIELD -- With two new dormitories that will accommodate nearly 300 students at the Clearfield Job Corps, students will no longer have to reside in outdated, dilapidated facilities dating back to the 1950s when their location at 20 W. 1700 S. in Clearfield used to belong to a Navy Supply Depot.
The four-year-long process of building the new dorms will play a pivotal role for students at the school, according to Center Director Jessica Joiner.
"The Job Corps program is effective because it focuses on all components of a student's learning, including the home environment," Joiner said. "The updated living setting means Clearfield students will be better equipped to learn given our focus on after-hours learning."
It is common for the national Job Corps program to reuse government buildings, said Helyse Turner, Clearfield Job Corps Business and Community Director. However, using the old dormitories from the navy supply depot was eating up a lot of funds for maintenance and upgrades. "You can only do so much upgrading to 60-year-old buildings, and these new dorms will now have all of our students in newer buildings on campus," Turner said.
With many of the 882 students at the Clearfield Job Corps either from southern Utah or out of state, the dormitories are critical for their school. In addition, students can receive social skills training as well.
"We can give these students all the training in the world, but if they have trouble relating to people, saying please and thank you, or being punctual, they won't have the skills to keep the job," Turner said.
With the biggest complaint from employers being employees without social skills, Turner said the Clearfield Job Corps is determined to make sure their students are prepared.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new dormitories was held Monday by the Davis Chamber of Commerce.
"The Job Corps is often overlooked, but they address a population that is considered at-risk. So when they get an education (at Job Corps), they come out as solid community citizens, so it is a real win-win for the community and our young people involved in the program," said Jim Smith, CEO and President of Davis Chamber of Commerce.
"We recognize that by the year 2020, two-thirds of our jobs in the state will require an advanced degree or technical certifications, so we have set a goal in getting our people ready for 2020," said Smith. "It starts as early as third-grade reading, and by 2020, we want to be ready to assimilate jobs into our state that other states might not be prepared for."
Smith said the Job Corps is often overlooked because it is funded federally, whereas much of the state is focused on the state level. However, Smith said it is critical to remember the Job Corps because those students might not necessarily succeed were without it.
There are two Job Corps programs in Utah -- one in Clearfield, and the other in Ogden. The most popular programs at the Clearfield Job Corps is their advanced automotive training, computer repair, health occupations, and welding.