BY TOM BUSSELBERG
NORTH SALT LAKE – The Clearfield Job Corps Center and Davis Applied Technology College both train students to be job-ready upon graduation.
The Job Corps serves financially disadvantaged students ages 16 to 24. The college serves both high school students and adults from a variety of backgrounds.
Spokespeople from both entities spoke to the Davis Unified Economic Development group, which met at the North Salt Lake City Hall, last week.
“We’re about workforce development and placement,” said Melissa Freigang, of Clearfield Job Corps.
The facility can train and house 880 students.
Training includes GED preparation for students who haven’t graduated from high school as well as vocational training in 14 trades and occupations.
All but a handful of students live on campus, where they receive orientation in employee expectations. They also learn specific skills, ranging from automotive repair to certified nurse assisting.
Students are trained to fill entry-level positions, and get training in academic subjects such as math when such skills are needed, Freigang said.
“The average cost per student is $24,000 per year,” she said. “That compares to at least $10,000 a year more for someone on food stamps. For every dollar we spend, the economy gets $2 in return.”
Students are held to a disciplinary code that includes no smoking, drug or alcohol use. Students who don’t meet workplace standards, such as attendance, are asked to leave the center. About 33 percent of students typically are terminated, she said.
Clearfield Job Corps ranks among the top 25 percent of 125 job corps programs across the nation. It strives for a student job placement rate of 90 percent, Freigang said.
Farmington City had two fire trucks detailed by Job Corps students, “saving a boat load of money,” City Manager Dave Millheim said.
Davis Applied Technology College, meanwhile, has a student mix of 78 percent adults and the rest high school students.
Training there is available in 37 programs where subjects ranging from composite education to allied health sciences are offered, said Ginger Chinn, director of employer development and continuing education at the school.
“About 9,000 students pass through the college each year” under its competency-based open entry, open exit program, where students work at their own pace, she said.
Various national and international businesses, including Okuma machine tools and Volvo Mac, donated $6.5 million in equipment to the college.
Kent Sulser, Davis County Community & Economic Development Director, said one of his daughters obtained an associate’s degree as a high school student at the college.
At age 18, she was hired by Primary Children’s Medical Center and continues to advance.
The college provides dental care for those in need through a partnership with area dentists and the Bountiful Community Food Pantry, Chin said.
Almost $50,000 in services have been donated in the dental program’s first few months of operation.