Job Corps

Construction Projects Improve Efficiency

at Job Corps Centers Across the Country

The Cassadaga Job Corps Center, in Cassadaga, N.Y., completed a major renovation of its Culinary Arts building, refurbishing features from the ground up that improve its appearance and its functionality. Building improvements include new brickwork, drywall, and ceilings, as well as energy-saving features such as high-efficiency HVAC systems, windows, and lighting fixtures. The new design will also help the center withstand the harsh winter weather conditions in the area.

Renovation contractor Chris Nichter of Nichter Construction saw the project through from start to finish and knows firsthand how each of the new features will better serve the student population. “The old structure was very weak,” Nichter said. “Now the building is completely renovated with significant upgrades, and it is very comfortable for the students who will use the building for training classes day-in and day-out.”

The Westover Job Corps Center, in Chicopee, Mass., is working with local contractors on the construction of approximately 1.5 acres of stationary, ground-based solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Once the solar panels are installed, the new system will serve as an alternative energy source that will decrease the center's dependency on outside power sources. The panels will add 150 to 200 kilowatts to the center's current power system.

The center and contractors are also working to identify training opportunities for students during the installation of the panels, a prime opportunity for students to learn more about emerging technologies and energy-efficiency in the construction industry.

Westover hired Massachusetts-based Palmer Federal Constructors to complete the solar panel installation, enhancing the local economic impact of the project. The contractor is tasked with designing and constructing the ground-based solar panel system and is currently working with the center to prepare for installation. Numerous site visits have been completed, and the solar panels have arrived on center. Currently, the center is working with the contractor on the beginning stages of the project that will continue through spring 2011.

Job Corps received more than $211 million in ARRA funds for the construction of new facilities and renovations of existing structures. These projects have been a significant factor in Job Corps' ability to commit to the goals put forth by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.