NAMPA, Idaho — A group of Treasure Valley students was recognized as the first graduates of the Idaho Job Corps Program. On Monday, The Idaho Department of Labor held a graduation ceremony for the 22 students at the Centennial Job Corps Center in Nampa.
“This is our very first graduation ceremony of the Idaho Job Corp Program. We had a delay due to COVID, and we had an opportunity this year to honor both our graduates of 2020 and 2021,” said Dr. Tina Polishchuk, Program Operations Manager with the Idaho Department of Labor.
Some of the graduates received their General Education Development (GED) or a certification in Welding or Phlebotomy. The program gives students between the ages of 16 and 24 a chance to follow their educational aspirations.
“Our goal here is to take Idaho youth that needs help getting access to training so they’re able to go out to the workforce and find a job in skills and trades. We have students who earn certificates, certifications,” Polishchuk said.
Guest speakers included Denise Aberle-Cannata, Interim President for the College of Western Idaho (CWI), Jani Revier, Director for the IDL, and Wyatt Pettis, a former Job Corps student.
Program administrators applauded the students for completing the program and pushing forward during the pandemic.
“Doing your classes online and going to work so that was tough. I didn’t give up on my studies. I wasn’t a full-time student, but I was taking two classes so I can be on that path of education,” said Sakhi Hasmati, a 2021 graduate.
The program gave Nicholas Proffitt a chance to earn his GED and now he plans to pursue a career in industrial design.
“High school wasn’t working, I went to three different high schools. I finally tried this one it worked out,” said Proffitt, a 2020 graduate.
Students interested in learning about the program can meet with the staff on the first Wednesday of each month at the Centennial Center in Nampa. Meetings begin at 4:30 p.m. You can also call (208) 442-4500 for more information.