Job Corps Sign

Job Corps Provides Path to Success

(Story submitted to Excelsior Citizen from Excelsior Springs Job Corps)

Excelsior Springs Job Corps is an amazing resource here in our community. Job Corps offers industry recognized certifications in 82 high-demand industries. For individuals meeting income based requirements, Job Corps is completely free. The programs are federally funded and provide essential academic and career skills training. Job Corps also helps to place students in jobs upon graduation, helping to break cycles of poverty and giving individuals a path towards financial and career success. Ebony Moultry is a student who chose Job Corps. She didn’t want to go to college and accrue a lot of debt so, she entered Job Corps and became a professional in her field.

Ebony Moultry poses by her work vehicle after answering a service call from one of her previous Job Corps associates. (submitted photo).

Ebony Moultry said after completing high school she didn’t feel like she had enough background to start a career. That’s why she enrolled in the Excelsior Springs Job Corps Center program. “I didn’t want to go to college,” Ebony said. “I didn’t feel prepared and I didn’t want to waste my money and go.” Ebony added that while she was in high school she had dabbled in construction electives and found it very interesting. She decided since Job Corps could train her in a high-demand field, it would be a great fit for her. Upon entry, she began learning the basics of facilities maintenance through the Home Builders Institute program “(Graduating Job Corps) has really helped me get my foot in the door,” Ebony said. 

Deciding to remain in the Kansas City area, Ebony is currently a drain technician at A.B. May. She’s been working there steadily for the last three years and had other jobs in the field before she started for A.B. May. Looking back, Ebony said what she misses about Job Corps (other than not having to pay bills) is being able to explore different options without neglecting her responsibilities. The opportunity was one of a lifetime for Ebony and having that available to her made a difference in her future. “Now that I’m out, there are more responsibilities,” she explained. “As you get older it’s harder to try different things.” 

Job Corps Construction
Job Corps students hone their skills making upgrades and repairs to campus facilities. (photo by Courtney Cole).

Job Corps didn’t only provide Ebony the knowledge she needed to start her career. Ebony said she also learned some basic daily skills like how to clean up and keep her living space clean. “When you’re in your own apartment, you have got to keep it clean,” Ebony said. “I learned to be responsible for myself and learned that my actions are only going to reflect me. So as long as I’m responsible and do what I’m supposed to do, then the outcome will be great.” 

For those who are about to enter Job Corps or may already be enrolled, Ebony says to take it seriously. “If you don’t want to be there, you don’t have to be there, don’t waste everybody’s time,” she said. “(Job Corps) is basically people who are there trying to help you. If you don’t want to be there, if you don’t want to do something with what they’ve given you when you leave, there’s no point in staying there,” she continued. “You have got to be committed to it because I know some of the people who were there with me and they left, and they had a hard time either trying to find a job or quit and couldn’t find another. 

Job Corps Students
Working as a team students at Job Corp gain essential skills for the workplace. (photo by Courtney Cole).

I know some people are just struggling right now but ever since I completed Job Corps I’ve been on a great path. It’s all about how you take it and how seriously you can see yourself in the future. It’s very beneficial.” Times are different right now, one could argue and some of the students may be struggling with the new normal. For those who are struggling to keep going, Ebony suggests just staying persistent. “It will pay off,” she added. “I know being a female in this industry, it is frustrating at times. Sometimes you just feel like you aren’t good enough or you’re not doing it right. But when you are first starting out you are going to feel like that. I’ve been doing this for six or seven years now and I’m like, one of the top technicians now. It does pay off.”

Visit the Job Corps website to learn more about programs, eligibility, cost, and other opportunities they offer.

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