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OPA News Release: [02/21/2008]
Contact Name: Jennifer Coxe or Michael Volpe
Phone Number: (202) 693-4676
Release Number: 08-0108-NAT

U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao breaks ground on new Pinellas County Job Corps Center in St. Petersburg, Fla.

WASHINGTON — Noting her continuing commitment to providing young people in Florida with the education and training needed to compete in the 21st century workforce, U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao today took part in the ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of the new Pinellas County Job Corps Center in St. Petersburg, Fla.

"This Job Corps center will help young people turn their lives around and start anew," Secretary Chao told an audience of community leaders and Job Corps staff and students. "In addition to a job training curriculum geared toward high-growth fields, these students will learn about teamwork and practice other so-called 'soft skills' that contribute to success in the workplace.

"The entire Tampa Bay region will benefit from these additional resources to help young people in need of special attention," Secretary Chao continued. "Once completed, the center will create more than 100 permanent jobs for staff and faculty, and contribute $7 million annually to the local economy."

Dr. Esther Johnson, national director of the Job Corps, said that when finished in the summer of 2009, "The $40 million Pinellas Job Corps Center will include nine buildings on a 16-acre campus, which can serve about 300 students who will receive education and training in fields such as health care, construction, automotive and machine repair, and information technology." The center will be located at 5th Avenue South and 22nd Street South in St. Petersburg.

The Job Corps is the nation's largest and oldest federally-funded job training and education program for "at promise" youth ages 16 through 24. With 122 centers nationwide, the program enrolls approximately 60,000 new youth each year in more than 100 career areas. For more information about the Job Corps, call 800-733-JOBS (5627) or visit

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