Job Corps

An Evidence-Based Practice


Job Corps is a no-cost education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 get a better job, make more money, and take control of their lives. At Job Corps, students enroll to learn a trade, earn a high school diploma or GED and get help finding a good job. When participants join the program, they will be paid a monthly allowance; the longer they stay with the program, the more the allowance will be. Job Corps provides career counseling and transition support to its students for up to 12 months after they graduate from the program.

Goal / Mission

As a national, primarily residential training program, Job Corps' mission is to attract eligible young adults, teach them the skills they need to become employable and independent, and place them in meaningful jobs or further education.

Results / Accomplishments

The evaluation used a controlled experimental design with random assignment. Job Corps substantially increased the education and training that program participants received. Nearly 90% of the program group engaged in some education or training (both in and out of Job Corps), compared with about 64% of the control group (p < 0.05). Job Corps participants spent about 5.6 hours per week more in programs than they would have if they had not enrolled in the program (p < 0.05). Program group members spent an average of 4.6 hours per week in academic classes, compared with 3.6 hours per week for the control group (p < 0.05). The program group typically received significantly more vocational training as the control group (4.5 vs. 1.0 hours per week, p < 0.05). Job Corps led to significant increases in the receipt of GED or high school diploma and vocational certificates (p's < 0.05). Job Corps participants were significantly more likely than the control group to be employed or in school over the course of the follow-up (p < 0.05). Job Corps generated positive employment and earnings impacts; in the last quarter of the 30-month follow-up period, the gain in average weekly earnings per participant was $18, or 11 percent (p < 0.05).

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Grace Kilbane, Administrator
Office of Job Corps, Employment and Training Administration
200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20210
(202) 293-3000
Education / Vocational & Adult Education
Economy / Employment
U.S. Department of Labor
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide (MPG)
Date of publication
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
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Target Audience