MEMPHIS, TN – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a partnership between the Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks Job Corps Center and the Tennessee Valley Authority to provide technical expertise and training to students and establish a pipeline of trained and skilled workers for the electric utility corporation’s service area.
During a ceremony at the center in Memphis, representatives from the Hooks Job Corps Center and the TVA signed a Memorandum of Understanding in which the electric utility agrees to lend technical expertise to develop the curriculum for Job Corps students. The TVA will then help the program’s graduates enroll in the utility corporation’s programs or the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Apprenticeship Program.
The partnership will enable the Hooks Job Corps Center to provide a pipeline of talent with trained overhead line graduates to TVA and to its subcontractors, vendors and partners. Apprentices in overhead lineman positions typically earn more than $40,000 a year.
“Job Corps’ partners benefit from our ability to modify our training programs to suit their specific needs,” said Job Corps National Director Rachel Torres. “Customized training supports our partners’ economic growth and creates more career opportunities for our students. It’s a win-win for Job Corps and for the TVA. They need the next generation of overhead linemen. We’ve got them.”
After today’s partnership launch, Job Corps is looking at opportunities to expand the program. In Tennessee and in parts of the six surrounding states served by the Tennessee Valley Authority, there are 23 Job Corps centers that offer career training programs aligned with job opportunities at the TVA.
“The future of the energy industry is founded upon the actions we take and investments we make today – and this partnership is a clear investment in our workforce of the future,” said Tennessee Valley Authority President and CEO Jeff Lyash. “Our collaboration with the Dr. Benjamin Hooks Jobs Corp Center will offer our community professional resources, state-of-the-art training experiences and access to educational programs to prepare a viable pipeline of well-trained talent as they enter the energy industry.”
Founded in 1964, Job Corps is the nation’s largest job training and education program. It provides students from 16 to 24 years of age with vocational training and academic experiences to increase opportunities towards gainful employment and career pathways. Mostly a residential program in urban and rural areas, Job Corps centers include dormitories and a campus environment like small colleges. Job Corps provides programs and services to students free of charge. The department’s Employment and Training Administration administers the program.