Local Job Corps Center movin’ up in National rankings but it needs more students

Wind River Job Corps Director James Whitmire and Fort Washakie Schools Superintendent Terry Ebert talked about a new articulation agreement that allows senior students from Fort Washakie to attend the job corps center. Photo h/t Ernie Over

(Riverton, Wyo.) – The Community Relations Council  for the Wind River Job Corps Center was told this morning that graduates there are getting jobs paying $22-$23 an hour after graduating. “Center Director Jim Whitmire said most of the graduates are leaving with jobs in hand, one reason why the local Department of Labor facility has moved up in national performance rankings. “One year ago our performance ranking was around 100 in the country, but in the last quarter, we’ve moved up to 52nd of all 125 job corps in the country,” he said.  “I feel that we are now beyond the initial start-up phase and we’re working as a center now,”

With the success of moving students through the trades programs, Whitmire said the center is still struggling to attract new students. “We’re about 120 students short right now of our optimum number, which is 300. We have open beds and open training slots,” he said. In order to attract more students, Whitmire said the center is in the process of adding a Health Care Pathway to its offerings. That pathway would would include occupations such as medical assistants, medical administration assistants, dental assistants and further down the road Emergency Medical Technician training, among others.

Whitmire said the center has successfully negotiated articulation agreements with Fremont County School Districts #14 and #21 that would allow seniors in those high schools to attend the Job Corps Center in the afternoon. “That will certainly help our student numbers,” he said, and he noted other similar agreements are in the process for FCSD #6 and #25. “We’d like to get all the high schools in Fremont County on board with us.” Whitmire also noted that the Center continues to work with Central Wyoming College and that Office Assistant students can leave the center with seven college credits in hand if they continue their studies at CWC. He said he’d like to see the students leave with 20 college credits in the future. “We’re hoping to add welding to that agreement as well giving our students more opportunities with CWC.”