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USDA Marks 50th Anniversary of the Job Corps

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Economic Opportunity Act.  This Act, part of the government effort to wipe out poverty, created the Job Corps program, which has had a positive effect on countless young lives, giving them a chance to break multi-generational cycles of poverty, get an education, and find jobs in the federal and private sectors, and in the military.  The U.S. Forest Service works closely with the Department of Labor to operate Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers (Job Corps CCCs) around the country.

Last week, dignitaries including Deputy Under Secretary Butch Blazer, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, and Tina Terrell, Forest Service National Director of the Job Corps, along with colleagues from the Department of Labor, came together in Washington at USDA’s Whitten Building to mark the anniversary.

Training the Next Generation of Top Chefs

Last fall I was honored to participate in the Job Corp’s Top Chef Competition held on at the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  I must say it was one of the most delicious assignments I’ve ever had!  The competition, inspired by Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, was a huge success.  Over 20 Food Service managers from Job Corps centers across the country competed in teams to showcase their culinary talents while applying healthy eating principles to their competition entries.

The Job Corps program is a residential education and training program that serves over 60,000 youth annually between the ages of 16 and 24.  Across 124 Job Corps centers, Food Service staff serves three square meals every day to our students.  Thus, it is critical to ensure our meals meet nutrition and health guidelines and requirements.  More importantly, we understand our role in promoting healthy lifestyle practices to our students, who will then apply what they learned in their independent lives after Job Corps.