GRAFTON JOBCORPS; A tale of horror.
The newer, more misleading sign...
GRAFTON JOBCORPS "CAREER ACADEMY": JUST SAY NO!
For those of you who do not know, Jobcorps is a federally funded "educational" training program for 16 through 24-year-olds. They provide "room&board", a bi-monthly stipend, as well as a vocational training program and education classes. I use all of these terms loosely, as they do. Read on for why.
I would ONLY recommend jobcorps to someone who has NO OTHER CHOICE. Jobcorps is a scam. The recruiters tell you out and out LIES to get you in. I was a good trainee the entire 6 months I was there, but it seemed like no matter what you did, you never made a 5 (top daily marks). I tested out of education classes and went straight to trade when I got in, and I always received good marks in trade... but since I left on time to go in the morning, and my slacker roommates did not, I never got a good room score even though it wasn't my mess. It caused me to lose my weekends and some pay, as well as store run privileges and recreational trips.
In college I am a straight A student, on the Dean's list for the second year in a row. You do not get to be there if you are a screw up.
The stipend is the hugest false advertisement ever, a bald face lure, a $25 bi-weekly check (that I fully believe they only offer so they can say that they pay students to attend, considering how many ridiculous ways they have to whittle it down to $0 before you get it in hand). The recruiters and staff will never tell you how much it is before you enter, they play it off that it differs, so they can't say, etc...not true. It varies between $25-$50. No higher. You can offer to play janitor cleaning an entire building every night and bring your total up an additional $40 a check. They can just decide you didn't do good enough and not pay you if they choose, too. Doesn't matter if it's true or not.
Everything you do wrong is blown out of proportion, even when you couldn't avoid it. Out in the world I am NEVER a troublemaker, I never got arrested, never got disciplined at work, was never late for anything. I have been the voice of reason to MOST people I know, in JC and outside, keeping THEM from doing stupid stuff, too. But it seemed like there was no way to just be a human being at jobcorps. NO individuality was accepted. If you dared to question a rule that made no sense, whether you followed it or not, you were "disciplined". Discipline includes either being restricted to jobcorps, or having your measly bit of pay fined. It is true, you get paid $25 EVERY TWO WEEKS, when you are at your "job"(classes) 8 hours a day, Monday through Friday. That's .06 cents an hour. SLAVE WAGES. Minimum wage when I was there was $7 an hour. That would have been $280 per check, before taxes, which you wouldn't have to pay, as you make far below the "poor" standard. It would still have been great. Now, understand that this is not an ALLOWANCE, it is a PAYCHECK. They go out of their way to specify that. You have to cash them there. Now, also consider that they will not give you your full amount if there is a fine. They keep the amount you were fined, with or without permission. You cannot choose not to pay and accept the consequences, (I.E. getting thrown out, working it off, etc) like you would be able to in any other job. They go out of their way to point out that this is a WORKING FACILITY, and trade is WORK, not SCHOOL, and should be treated as such. They say the rules, etc, are to prepare you for the real working world, for example the dress code( there are trade- specific uniforms in some cases) and designated smoking areas.
Yet they withhold your pay to pay your fines. Imagine: if that were LEGAL, there would be no cars towed for parking tickets, and that stupid parking wars show wouldn't exist.
No matter what job you have, it is ILLEGAL for employers to withhold pay if you were present for your shift, whether you did any work or not. Even the GOVERNMENT ITSELF cannot just help itself to your money because you got a ticket or fine.
I would also like to point out that they care not one iota about medical issues or doctor's orders, ALSO ILLEGAL for an "employer". I had to go to the med center and hospital ER for a serious injury to my calf muscle. The doctor said to stay off it and keep it elevated due to severe bruising and internal bleeding which caused it to swell. The good medical staff at Jobcorps would not allow me to follow doctors orders, and forced me to go to trade anyway, or risk termination for skipping trade. This caused further injury to my leg, as there is nowhere to keep your leg elevated in class, and in Culinary you have to walk constantly. My muscle, instead of just being bruised, was now TORN instead. I was in pain and on crutches for a month. I realize now I should have sued, but at the time if I had gotten thrown out, I would have been homeless, as you cannot save money when you make $25 every 2 weeks.
Jobcorps is WORSE than a prison. Even a prison respects medically documented injuries and doctors orders.
Here are some of the worse offenses of JC:
-People stole things all the time. All you had was a small closet you could lock, which staff "inspected" DAILY. Not to mention if you grabbed the handle and shook the door, it unlocked. REAL SAFE.
-If someone was beating on someone else, and they defended themselves, BOTH people were ejected from the place, no investigation was inducted, and no eyewitness testimony was accepted.
-The ENTIRE place would go on "lockdown" every time there was an incedent between a couple people, usually two individuals fighting. Even when they knew who did it and were right there. No matter what time it was. If it was 3pm, you were locked in the dorms for the entire night, and couldn't leave until 5am. THAT'S 14 HOURS. That's imprisonment.
- People were terminated for NO CAUSE, ALL THE TIME. I myself was terminated for "throwing eggs all over campus", NOT something I would ever consider doing, when 8 individuals were present to vouch for my whereabouts the time in question. AS WERE CAMERAS at the rec hall... it didn't matter though, because the day before I had completed my trade, and they didn't need me anymore. Once you complete trade, they have to pay for services for YOU, like assistance with job placement, assistance finding housing, and $1200 towards apartment furnishings/rent....but not if they terminated you first. I saw this happen SO MANY TIMES, it cannot be considered even remotely coincidental.
-The curfew for 21 year old adults who were responsible was the same as for 16 year old delinquents. 8 pm. If you were not in by then, you were locked out, and had to knock for entry, even if it was by 1 minute, and were written up, fined, and put on restriction (restriction is where you are confined to campus, and cannot go home for the weekend to see family).
-There were recreational outings every week, and only lv 5 students could go. If you had a slob of a roommate, you couldn't. Whether it was your fault or not. Same was true for "store runs", whether you needed shampoo and soap or not. ONLY 10-20 PEOPLE COULD GO, depending on how many vans they took. OUT OF 300 PEOPLE. If you weren't on time for the sign up, or didn't know anyone going, you couldn't even get your necessities, unless you could pay one of the people going to get your things, an EXORBITANT price, without the staff catching you.
-The food was terrible, and if I hadn't of been in culinary, I would never have eaten. The chicken was RAW, still bloody inside, every other day. I survived on sandwiches, which I cooked in the microwave because they left the meat out for an hour and a half at a time.
A Jobcorps education...HA. "Hey it's free education! Don't be so damn negative!!!" That's one of the points defenders use... free or not, IS NOT RESPECTABLE. It isn't even an actual education. I wasn't taught a thing I didn't already know: the instructor never actually stood up and showed us how to do things. He just kinda sat in his office and oversaw us doing our own thing. If you don't know how to cook, don't expect to learn how here. Again, A Jobcorps Education....HA...employers frown upon it on a resume, so it is therefore useless. Nobody, in my experience or any experiences I heard of, wants anyone trained there. Well, I have heard of people hiring JC trainees, but not anywhere respectable. Because of the MANY degenerates that attend, it is viewed as a place for criminals and poor employees. Jobcorps employees themselves I have seen quoted in newspapers saying "Jobcorps is a training program for "at risk" youth." The stigmata is insurmountable. Even with a letter of recommendation from my instructor. I tried for MONTHS to get a job at a restaurant, even as a bus person, and the second employers found out I was trained there, the employers faces dropped. I never got a job at a restaurant, even though I was serve-safe certified and attended bar-tending school after, out of pocket. I was forced to get a job at a gas station to feed myself, and a second job at Walmart to pay for other needs. I am in college now, and have a sales job with a respectable company through my own merit,(AND by not mentioning JC in my resume) and am getting a REAL education, so I can get a better job in the future...a JC education is, by-and-large, a waste of time.
I fully expect that Jobcorps should be subject to regular inspections and reviews. MANY of their practices are unconstitutional and illegal. I fully believe that the IDEA of Jobcorps is a good one....but when you allow people power with no real supervision, things never go as planned.
I will tell you why I am no longer there, and perhaps shed some light on the type of insanity that happens there on a daily basis. The very DAY that I completed the Culinary Arts program, I am pulled from class and brought to the administrator's office. I was told I was being terminated for breaking into the culinary building and taking eggs, and throwing them all over campus.A completely unfounded accusation. I had 5 people who could account for my whereabouts at the time of the incident, but they didn't care. They accused me of it, found me guilty with no witnesses or evidence, nor any precedents of misbehavior on this scale to base their idea of it being me on, They threw me out on the street.
I found out years later it was my friend Kevin who had done it. He had no idea I had gotten thrown out for it, because they never even bothered asking my friends if I was with them at the time, so nobody knew what had happened to me. I could have sworn this place was in the United States, where we are innocent until proven guilty, but guess that only counts in a courthouse (if that).
So, that is my story, and these are my experiences and opinions. This is my advice: DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE YOU CARE ABOUT TO ATTEND THIS HELLHOLE, ESPECIALLY IF THEY HAVE BEHAVIORAL ISSUES. THEY WILL COME OUT A WORSE PERSON FOR IT, IF THEY DON'T END UP IN JAIL.
Take it or leave it, but go away informed.
What was your experience with Jobcorps like?
- 43% It was good. I would recommend it to others.
- 57% It was HELL, and I would only send my worst enemy there.
Ex-Trainee and Staff Experiences
"My experience with JobCorps was at first kind of fun. But then a few weeks in I realized I had made a mistake. My mistake you ask? Signing up to train at a prison disguised as a government funded trade school.
Drugs ran rampant through the dormitories, one boy was even beaten almost to death in the laundry room over 5 dollars worth of marijauna. Gang members were as abundant as if we were on the street. Racism dominated any social gathering or event Job Corps tried to plan. The point system to go outside the compound on the weekends was a joke. Anything you owned would and could be stolen if it wasn't bolted down." -Shane B.
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