Quentin N. Burdick Jobs Corps offers alternative avenue to success

Submitted Photo Tristen King, left, is shown with his boss, Chef Jason Harms, at the Sleep Inn.

Tristen King, a culinary student at Quentin N. Burdick Job Corps Center, found his passion and a job during his time at the Minot center.

“I heard about the Job Corps from my mother, who attended this center in 2002. I came here because I kind of lost my way,” King said. “I didn’t know what to do and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. So, I came to Job Corps with the intention of learning to weld, but there is a long wait list for it, and that is when I discovered the culinary arts.”

King had always liked to cook, but it was when he joined the culinary arts program at Job Corps that he reignited his passion for cooking.

The federal Job Corps program started almost 60 years ago to provide trade skills to people who are considered low to low-middle income. Job Corps allows students to find an avenue that best suits them, whether that be college, work or military. Burdick Job Corps is the only Job Corps center in North Dakota.

“We are considered a baseline Job Corps, because we don’t offer advanced training options. We have three services trades: culinary arts, office administration and certified nurses assistant. We have construction trades: welding, automotive light repair, carpentry and building construction technology. We also assist with students getting their GED,” said Torrac Hayes, the Student Government Association coordinator.

Burdick Job Corps also helps students find advanced training programs specific to their trades.

“We have connections to different places that offer advanced training to our students,” Hayes said. “For our culinary students, we could send them to California to Treasure Island to learn more about catering, or we could send them to Maine and he could learn more about baking.”

“I am able to live here on campus for free, which is very beneficial to me,” King said. “They provide us with some basic necessities like toothpaste, toothbrush and laundry services, which is great because we can save money for those of us that have jobs to be able to get our own place in the future.”

King is working at the Sleep Inn, where he helps cook the breakfast and prep for banquets and catering.

“I really enjoy the catering aspect of it and I can see it being something I’d like to do in the future,” King said. “When the servers come back and tell the cooks that the guests really enjoy the food is a great feeling.”


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