The San Juan Daily Star
Arecibo Job Corps Center to be rebuilt with $40 million in federal funds
By The Star Staff
With an investment of $40 million in 100% federal funds, the reconstruction of the Job Corps Center campus in the Garrochales neighborhood of Arecibo began on Monday, Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón and Arecibo Job Corps Director Miguelina Torres announced.
Attending the groundbreaking ceremony were mayors Wanda Soler (Barceloneta) and Gabriel Hernández (Camuy), Reps. José “Quiquito” Meléndez, José “Memo” González and Gabriel Rodríguez Aguiló, and Arecibo district senators Elizabeth Rosa Vélez and Rubén Soto.
“I am pleased to see the work in progress from the federal allocations that we have secured and supported for the island, but I am more proud of the federal government’s recognition of the work of this facility by describing it as the most productive of the 120 centers in the nation,” González Colón said. “This allocation will be of benefit so that more young people on the island can receive excellent training, with real expectations of jobs. I invite parents and young people to be part of the Job Corps family that in Puerto Rico has two campuses, this one and the one in Aguadilla [Ramey Job Corps] that is also under reconstruction with federal investment.”
“Job Corps offers young people a bright and promising path to higher-paying careers in the nation’s fastest-growing industries,” said Rachel Torres, national director of Job Corps. “The investments we are making in this center, and in these young people, are in turn investments in the future of the island. Our graduates fill a critical need for employers, and for the economy.”
The new construction will replace many of the academic, administrative and training workshop buildings on the lower level of the campus, which was damaged by Hurricane Maria and the storms of 2022. In short, two buildings will be renovated and 11 buildings will be constructed.
The U.S. Department of Labor will make an investment of over $40 million for the work that is slated to begin this summer and is expected to conclude in around two and a half years. The allocation is from funds obtained for Puerto Rico by the resident commissioner after the impact of Hurricane Maria, most under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. The project is expected to create 150 to 180 jobs at its peak.
Arecibo Job Corps is currently the number one center among more than 120 Job Corps campuses in the United States, ranking in the top 10 in five of the nine categories in the U.S. Department of Labor’s classification system.
Job Corps is a federal vocational-technical education and training program for young people who aspire to higher-paying careers and higher education. With more than 120 residential and non-residential locations nationwide, training is available for eligible young people from 16 to 24 years old. The program is free for students.
Eighty percent of graduates enter the workforce, join the military, or continue their higher education or work practice. Among the courses offered are: Office Management, Medical Assistant, Practical Nursing, Building Maintenance and Electrical nTrainee.