Wind River Job Corps Student of The Week: Joseph Dickerson

Each week, staff at Wind River Job Corps nominates a student who has shown excellent behavior towards their academics and peers. To view all nominated students, click here.

Student operates Big Equipment with plans to earn the Big Bucks

Joseph Dickerson is Wind River Job Corps’ student of the week.  

Joseph grew up in Kingwood, Texas. Kingwood is an innovative master planned community north of Houston known as the “liveable forest” that was once part of the historic King Ranch. It is in this ever-developing environment that Joseph first watched the large infrastructure-building equipment shape the land.

Coming to Wind River Job Corps in Riverton, Wyoming, Joseph has chosen to build his employable skillset as a Heavy Equipment Operator. In this pre-apprenticeship trade program, he has the opportunity to learn to drive and operate over 22 pieces of equipment ranging from road graders, bulldozers and construction trucks to bobcats and forklifts and everything in between. Joseph is determined to get certified on as many pieces of equipment as he can, putting him in a good position to land construction jobs building the nation’s infrastructure. 

These high-demand jobs generally start at wages around $28 per hour, and move into $100,000 annually within the first five years. Joseph will be able to chose between union or non-union apprenticeship programs upon graduation.

As it is for many students, Joseph’s time at Wind River has been transformative. “This student is a dedicated, head strong individual who has come full circle.  He is already becoming the best version of himself,” says Wind River center director Dr. Kristen Benson.  

While considering continuing his education in college, with an aim towards gaining a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, Joseph has a variety of career pathways and ambitions ahead of him. He eventually hopes to start his own business back in Kingwood.  

 Congratulations Joseph Dickerson.


WIND RIVER JOB CORPS serves up to 300 campus-based and non-residential students generally originating from the Rocky Mountain states. The center provides over 16 career tracks offered through eight vocational programs, including pre-apprenticeship opportunities. These programs have been determined and developed based on the current high-performing job market trends in the region. Included in vocational training are employability skills and community engagement. Wind River Job Corps is the newest of the 124 Job Corps centers located throughout the United States, opening in 2015. It is operated by the Alternate Perspectives, Inc.  for the Department of Labor and is located at 4200 Airport Rd in Riverton, Wyoming.

JOB CORPS is a program administered by the United States Department of Labor. The program helps income-eligible young people ages 16 through 24 complete their high school education, trains them for meaningful careers, and assists them with obtaining employment. Job Corps has trained and educated over two million individuals since 1964. It is the largest nationwide residential career training program in the country and has been operating for more than 50 years.

At Job Corps, students have access to room and board while they learn skills in specific training areas for up to three years. In addition to helping students complete their education, obtain career technical skills and gain employment, Job Corps also provides transitional support services, such as help finding employment, housing, child care, and transportation. Job Corps graduates either enter the workforce or an apprenticeship, go on to higher education, or join the military.

API Alternate Perspectives Incorporated (API) is a certified small, woman-owned company with corporate headquarters just outside our nation’s capital. API’s mission is to help individuals and organizations achieve their goals and realize their dreams by providing them with new ways of thinking to create new ways of doing. API staff have extensive Job Corps experience in almost every aspect of the Job Corps program. The API Operating model begins with building a “positive normative culture” at each center defined by four norms: respect self, respect others, respect community, and strive for excellence. Students and staff at the Wind River Job Corps Center are expected to adopt and embrace these norms to learn, grown, and strive for continuous improvement. In addition to Wind River Job Corps, API operates the Westover Job Corps Center, and Shriver Job Corps Center, both in Massachusetts. 

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