Center Type
Job Corps Center
Management Company
Physical Address

110 Hall St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507-1734
United States

Geolocation Field
42.9407697, -85.6643991
Phone Number
(616) 243-6877
Fax Number
(616) 243-4012
Location Description

Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center is located on 9 acres in Grand Rapids, Michigan, near the Gerald R. Ford Museum, Devos Hall, and Frederick Meijer Gardens. The center completed major renovations in 2012 that incorporated the latest in green and energy-efficient building methods.

Center History

The Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center is located on the former site of Grand Rapids South High School which first opened in 1915. It opened as the Grand Rapids Job Corps Center in 1982 but changed its name in 2004 to honor the 38th president who grew up in the Grand Rapids area. The center completed major renovations in 2012 that incorporated the latest in green and energy-efficient building methods.

Housing: a furnished bedroom

Our campus' residential living facilities can house 117 male students and 95 female students in two dorms. Residential students live with up to three roommates and enjoy the following amenities:

  • laundry facilities
  • TV lounges
  • computer labs
  • vending machines
  • bathrooms and showers
Director Name
Al Ford
Director Email
Director Phone
Director Fax
Student Programs
Student Government Association
<p>The Student Government Association (SGA) is the voice of our students and plays a key role in the operation of the center. We encourage all of our students to join the SGA.</p> <p>The SGA Council is composed of Executive Board officers, Vocational Representatives, and Area Student Leaders. The Executive Board members are the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Community Coordinator. Vocational Representatives are student leaders representing each career training program on center. The Area Student Leaders are mentors, recreational aides, residential advisors, safety marshals, and student tour guides.</p> <p>In their weekly meetings, SGA representatives make recommendations to the Center Director about rules affecting students including enforcement of rules. The Center Director also consults with the SGA before introducing new rules for students.</p> <p>SGA members also have the responsibility to:</p> <ul> <li>Be a positive role model to the other students.</li> <li>Assist in the decision-making process with the Center Director and Senior Management Team relating to policies affecting student life on and off campus.</li> <li>Develop leadership skills.</li> <li>Practice self-government and have input on center policies.</li> <li>Learn and practice positive leadership and socialization skills.</li> <li>Assist with tours on center.</li> <li>Work with all departments through the SGA Committees.</li> <li>Host activities for the student body.</li> <li>Work closely with the Business-Community Liaison to bridge the gap between the Job Corps program and the community.</li> </ul> <p>After 30 days of enrollment at our center, you may apply for the Leadership Training Class. After you complete three weeks of leadership training, you can apply for SGA membership.<br> </p>
<p>The Choir Club promotes teamwork, a sense of community, and has a lot of fun with music at the heart of everything we do. Its goal is to enhance the musical, creative, and expressive qualities of all members so that they can find the music inside them and use their own unique voice to share it with the world. Along the way, we will be learning the basics of musical theory as it relates to choral music and applying them firsthand in rehearsals and performances both in-center and out in the community. </p>
Dance (step and hip-hop)
<p>The Dance Club is a celebration of the joy and expression found in all forms of dance, though the club does focus primarily on hip-hop and step dance. </p> <p>Hip-hop dance is a dance style that is performed primarily to hip-hop music that evolved as part of hip-hop culture. It includes a wide range of styles including breaking, locking, and popping which were created in the 1970s and made popular by dance crews in the United States. Hip-hop dance is often "freestyle" (improvisational) in nature, and this allows for an infinite variety of personal expression and competition between crews. </p> <p>Stepping is a form of percussive dance that draws upon elements of gymnastics, break dance, tap dance, march, and African and Caribbean dance. The dancer’s entire body is used to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word, and hand claps. The style’s history goes back to military close-order and exhibition drills as well as African foot dances and was popularized by African-American fraternities and sororities during the 20th century. </p> <p>The goal of Dance Club is not only to learn these dance styles, but to connect with like-minded students, have fun, and forge new friendships at the Center. </p>
Healthy Eating Active Lifestyles
<p>In the past, we have worked under the idea that exercise happens in recreation, nutrition happens in the cafeteria, and health education happens in wellness. It’s time to change that way of thinking. Health happens everywhere—in dorms, in the classroom, even on field trips.</p> <p>The HEALS Committee is made up of students who are dedicated to promoting this idea and to building a culture at the center that embraces wellness, healthy eating, and physical activity in everything we do. This means teaching fellow students new and easy ways to integrate healthy living throughout the day and making healthy eating and exercise a fun part of center culture.</p>
Leadership program
<p>The Leadership Training Program is modeled after city government and provides a basic overview of government, committees, meetings, and town hall gatherings. Its goal is to help students develop their leadership skills through team building, social and business interaction, problem-solving, career development and the development of diplomatic views. To qualify for this training program, students must show they are mature and have leadership potential. The program itself takes place after school hours but is open to all our students.</p> <p>This program incorporates the Student Government Association (SGA) which acts as the voice of our students.</p>
<p>Fostering positive relationships with the communities our centers are in is a key part of what Job Corps does. This can mean performing work in the neighborhood that aligns with a student's career pathway, such as building new playgrounds, patching up sidewalks, or cleaning up parks. At the Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center, it also means assisting the following organizations with their important work:</p> <ul> <li>Blandford Nature Center</li> <li>Community events</li> <li>Comprenew</li> <li>Grand Rapids Home for Veterans</li> <li>Heart of West Michigan United Way</li> <li>Local neighborhood associations</li> <li>Mel Trotter Ministries</li> </ul>
Educational Programs
Online High School Diploma
<p>We offer a high school diploma through Middleton Online High School This is a great option for older students with few credits and a limited amount of time to complete the program.</p> <p>The TABE requirements to enter the online high school diploma program are scores of 550 in reading and 520 in math. This program is mostly book-based with tests being taken on the computer. There are 18 credits needed to graduate.</p> <p>This program is being offered through partnerships with New Learning Resources Online and Penn Foster. </p>
High school equivalency program
<p>The GED program is offered daily on center. The GED is a series of five tests. The score for each test must be at least 410 to pass the test. A total of 2250 points is needed to pass the GED.</p> <p>To qualify to take a test, a student must first pass a book test with the GED instructor. Then, the student must pass an official practice test with the Testing Administrator. Then, the student will get scheduled for the official state test.</p> <p>The TABE requirements to enter the GED program are scores of 550 in reading and 520 in math.</p> <p>A night school program is also offered Monday through Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m., which includes academic tutoring and extra study time.</p>
Basic Skills
<p>Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE) Classes</p> <p>The TABE classes are designed to be short-term refresher courses on basic material. The literacy class is designed to improve comprehension or the ability to remember what was read.</p> <p>Literacy</p> <p>Our literacy program is the Read180 program by Scholastic. It is the most researched program for young adults. We have a high rate of success in raising students' reading comprehension levels. There is also a writing portion which assists students in learning to write both for business and for fun.</p> <p>Math</p> <p>Our math program is skills-based and self-paced. The math instruction is over the basic areas covered on the TABE. As such, it is mostly a refresher course of things people have forgotten or not used in a long time. There is also a focus on life-skills math such as taxes, check books, credit cards, etc.</p>
Tutors and academic support
<p>Tutoring programs are available where students are tutored in math, reading, and writing by instructors or by fellow students (Peer Student Tutors). Students interested in getting into a tutoring program may contact their instructors or the Academic Manager.</p>
<p>The College Program is an advanced training program. To qualify for this program, a student must have a high school diploma or GED (from our center or another educational facility) and have successfully completed a vocational trade at Job Corps.</p> <p>Benefits of the College Program include:</p> <ul> <li>academic advisement, mentoring, and tutoring</li> <li>paid tuition, fees, books, and supplies</li> <li>housing and recreation</li> <li>meals provided by Job Corps, on-and-off center</li> <li>transportation to and from college of choice</li> </ul> <p>This program is offered through partnerships with Davenport University, Grand Rapids Community College, and Grand Valley State University</p>
English Language Learning
<p>Students needing to learn English can enter our English Language Learning (ELL) program. Students in the ELL program are tested regularly to determine their language proficiency levels. </p> <p>This program is offered through a partnership with the West Michigan Literacy Council.</p>
Driver Education
<p>Driver's Education is available to all students needing their driver's license.</p>
Who do I have to live with?

Students stay in separate male and female dormitories. There are up to four students to each dorm room. Your room will be assigned to you upon arrival at the center.

Job Corps values diversity and will provide you with opportunities to live and interact with people of many different backgrounds.