- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) - The Wind River Job Corps Center is officially open for business after a grand opening ceremony and ribbon cutting.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, Gov. Matt Mead, U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, Riverton Mayor Lars Baker and National Job Corps Center Director Lenita Jacobs-Simmons attended the dedication ceremony Monday.

“We’re excited about the potential for employment and economic development as a result, but the most important thing here is the terrific opportunity this provides for young people to develop skills that they will need to be successful in life,” Baker said.

The first students arrived in August, with 75 students in attendance thus far. The center, which is the first in Wyoming, can host as many as 300 students.

Mead said in his remarks that the center will be invaluable in keeping educated youth inside Wyoming’s borders, The Ranger reported (https://bit.ly/1LhZCWi ).



“I’m a strong supporter of career education and keeping Wyoming-grown, Wyoming-educated youth in our state,” he said. “This center will do both: train and retain.”

Perez said there are 5.8 million job openings across America now, and he addressed center students who were in the audience.

“You have a remarkable responsibility,” Perez said. “Because you are not only a graduate a year from now, but then you become what I call an ambassador for life - an ambassador for a program that for 50 years has been a fundamentally important part of our American economic landscape, a program that stands for the propositions that are quintessentially American, this proposition that opportunity is available to everyone.”

Students can stay at the center for up to two years, with an additional year possible for anyone who chooses to pursue advanced training in a trade.

The Job Corps center is part of a national training and employment program to reduce employment barriers faced by disadvantaged young people.

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Information from: The (Riverton, Wyo.) Ranger, https://www.dailyranger.com

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