Education Report Roundup

Job Corps Review

By Sean Cavanagh — January 17, 2006 1 min read

The federal Job Corps program produces substantial benefits in improved education and 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.

“National Jobs Corps Study: Findings Using Administrative Earnings Records Data” is available from Mathematica Policy Research.

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

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