Thanks for what you do, Broken Track. What type of organization are you doing that with?
It is hard to state "the average student" because really it varies greatly from student to student, but it is a fact, there is a lot of broken families out there, and a lot of times the sound upbringing we had pre 1990's is not there for a lot of kids today. But you cannot just take them out of foster care, or take them from a homeless shelter, and put them to work. There are barriers that must be addressed.
And to the shipyard's credit, it is a two-step process. We just introduce them to welding really: stick, mig and tig, but then they will get AWS certified, then move on to the shipyard apprentice program for a few weeks, and get specific NAVSEA weld trained.
But Job Corp does a lot for them. They get their high school diploma if they do not have it, get a drivers license, must meet employable skills beyond just welding ability, get 3 meals a day, room and board, daily pay. medical needs, get a career advisor once they are 70% complete, and that advisor follows them for 18 months past graduation. So they really get a good head start.
I grew up in a foster home, and became a foster parent myself, which is kind of why they hired me I think. I understand where they came from.
But the students are great, they really are. It is just the same issue that every teacher has, not enough time for all the paper work. I realize why it is there: people want to know how the kids are doing, and track their progress, and who knows the students better than their teachers, so really we are the only ones qualified to say, but it is hard to cram everything in an 8 hour day that is all.