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Job Corps ARRA-Funded Projects Stimulate Local Economies

Funding for a new dormitory construction project at Columbia Basin Job Corps Center, in Moses Lake, Wash., came at an opportune time for the center and local contractors. The $7.3 million project, expected to be complete in May, has helped save jobs for local companies.

“All the subcontractors we hired for this project are local to the Washington area,” said Bill Dieter, a project director for general contractor Au Authum Ki, Inc. “Based on their eagerness to get started and get to work, the different subcontractors may not necessarily have had to hire people; but they’ve got people on their payroll that they want to keep employed and keep working.”

Several hundred miles across the country, in Ottumwa, Iowa, construction on the new Ottumwa Job Corps Center has pumped more than $24 million into the local economy. More than 100 jobs will be created in the Ottumwa community when Job Corps’ newest center opens in 2011. Hundreds more were supported during the construction phase.

Randy Houk had been laid off by his previous employer and was out of work before being hired by Grooms & Company Construction to work on the Ottumwa Job Corps Center.

“The Ottumwa Job Corps Center got me a job, which hopefully will result in a future job with this company,” Houk said in a July 2010 interview. “I’ve been working since last October, and I’m proud of the job we’re doing.”

The Ottumwa Job Corps Center will continue to be a leading economic engine in the community long after the construction is complete. Staff salaries, equipment, and supplies will inject about $8 million into the local economy annually. Center graduates will also be a source of trained employees for local businesses and industries.