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In the
early 1960s unemployment of young people in the U.S. was twice that of older
adults.  In response, the Kennedy
Administration designed a program, known as Job Corps, offering free education
and vocational training to young men and women ages 16 to 24 to improve their lives. 

Kennedy’s death, President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty task force was able
to quickly implement the Job Corp program. 
Sargent Shriver, brother-in-law of the former president and Director of
the Office of Economic Opportunity, is credited as the founder of the program
which operated under his department.  He
modeled it after the Civilian Conservation Corps program of the 1930s.

In November
1964, it was announced that a Job Corps camp would be established in
Transylvania County.  Located on the
Davidson River in the Pisgah National Forest, the camp initially housed 100 corpsmen
in mobile facilities.

At the
dedication ceremony one year later, Edward Schulz of the U.S. Forest Service
stated that the corpsmen are walking in the paths used by such men of vision as
Dr. Carl Schenck, Gilford Pinchot, John W. Weeks and George Vanderbilt,
carrying on their conservation efforts.

In 1974 Schenck Job Corps students painted the Sapphire-Whitewater

Community Center.

worked on reforestation, stream improvement, trail construction and wildlife habitat projects in the National Forest. 
They built the Black Balsam Road into the Shining Rock Wilderness Area and
assisted with projects at the Cradle of Forestry, which had begun construction
in November 1964.  Corpsmen also helped
with community projects such as roadside litter clean-up and landscaping at the
Brevard Music Center.

its 55 years, Schenck Job Corps has evolved and expanded to meet the needs of
their students in a changing world.  The
campus has grown to include classrooms, workshops, dormitories, a cafeteria, a
wellness center and recreational facilities.

The original Cradle of Forestry facility and property was constructed and developed with assistance from Schenck Job Corps students in the mid-1960s.

the facility trains 180 young men and women in basic education, social skills
and employment skills.  Programs in automotive
and machine repair, carpentry, culinary arts, facility maintenance, painting
and welding are available for students.  Schenck
is the only Job Corps center that offers courses as an Advanced Forestry Technician
and one of just two that provides training in Advanced Wildland Fire Management.  Schenck Job Corps students help fight
wildfires throughout the United States as needed.

Jobs Corps mission remains the same after more than a half century—to provide
a no-cost education and career technical training program that
helps young people ages 16 to 24 improve the quality of their lives through
career technical and academic training.

and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina
Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC Room during regular library
hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our history and see additional
photographs. For more information, comments, or suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected]
or 828-884-1820.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712