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Guthrie Job Corps Center program celebrates 50 years of success

The Guthrie Job Corps Center program celebrated its 50th anniversary last week.
By Sarah Lobban, For The Oklahoman Published: August 30, 2014

The Guthrie Job Corps Center recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of a program that has helped more than 2 million people nationwide since its inception.

Job Corps, created in 1964 under the Economic Opportunity Act, is designed to give underprivileged youths the chance to make better lives for themselves through education and job training.

“We offer a lot for young people who are looking for an opportunity,” said Priscilla Mayberry, director of the Guthrie Job Corps Center. “When they come here, they’re able to get focused and get the support that’s needed to guide them to reach their potential.”

The Guthrie center opened in 1966. Still, the 50th anniversary is significant because without the national Job Corps, none of the work at the center in Guthrie would be possible.

Job Corps offers academic and career training. Students can pursue a GED or high school diploma under the tutelage of certified instructors, or take vocational training in any of 10 fields.

Job Corps is a residential program. Unless special circumstances warrant it, students live in the dorms for the duration of their studies.

The students all have faced barriers to obtaining a traditional education. Some are high school dropouts; others are homeless. Some are runaways or young parents with a child to support. All are low-income.

Working toward goals

Dorothy Garner, 17, is taking culinary arts training at the Job Corps Center. She helped make last week’s anniversary luncheon: baked tilapia with lemon butter, rice pilaf and lemon custard tarts.

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