Published Online: January 10, 2006

Report Roundup

Study Cites Benefits, Drawbacks of Federal Job Corps Program

The federal Job Corps program produces substantial benefits in improved education, literacy, lower crime rates, and short-term earnings, a study concludes. But it also says that the earnings gains for most enrollees in the program do not last long enough for it to be cost-effective.

Job Corps is a federal vocational and education program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that serves individuals ages 16 to 24. It helps participants secure high school diplomas, General Educational Development degrees, and job skills. Each year, Job Corps serves about 60,000 new participants nationwide, the report estimates.

Overall, however, the study—produced by Princeton, N.J.-based Mathematica Policy Research Inc.— found that the benefits to society of Job Corps are outweighed by a substantial program cost of about $1.5 billion annually.

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