Does Job Corps Drug Test?- All About Job Corps

Does Job Corps Drug Test

You’re one extremely passionate mentor, who loves to guide students ahead in their chosen careers. You’re one of those students who need some guidance. Either way, there is one solution for both of you – Job Corps. Yes, the name does sound like they are on some scary hunt, but no it’s not that scary. Job Corps is the place where experienced teachers hunt for talented students and help them navigate their life to a successful career. Doesn’t sound bad at all now, does it? Let’s delve a bit deeper into the world of these unique ‘corps’ and get our doses of the educational drug. Today’s topic- Does Job Corps Drug Test?

Site Inspection: Job Corps 

Let’s scratch the surface before digging in deeper about Job Corps. The initiative is a nationwide training program, under the Department of Labor, USA. This program aims to aid deserving students between the age of 16-24 in completing their education and getting a good head start in their careers. 

The program allows the students to learn the skills they need and are interested in, for up to 3 years. Other benefits of enrolling with Job Corps are that it offers support in finding employment, housing, transportation, and guarantees entry into the workplace after their training. 

The ‘Wanted’ Ones: The Students 

Now that we know what the program is, it is time to know who is it for? Can any Tom DIck and Harry enter and enroll?  The answer is no. Although Job Corps is a government-run program, it is not available to all. There are certain eligibility criteria for the students. Check the criteria off this list and then you can move ahead to the most exciting part of this journey – the journey itself. 

  • All students need to be between 16-24 years of age
  • The applicants should be in need of some education, skill training, or other related assistance
  • The applicants should either be US citizens, or legal residents of the USA. 
  • There are specific income qualifications. The applications should either – 
  1. Receive public assistance
  2. Earn poverty-line income 
  3. Be homeless, or a foster child
  4. Qualify for reduced lunch
  • The student should not have any criminal convictions or behavioral issues hindering them from gaining the full Job Corps experience.
  • The candidates should not be consuming drugs illegally

The Positives of the Negatives: Drug Tests

Cars stop at the green light of the traffic signal!! Hopefully, you noticed the mistake. That completes my attention check. Because if you have not been reading with concentration, even the heading might seem odd to you. But it is not. As mentioned earlier (here’s why the attention check was important), only students who do not consume any drugs illegally are allowed in this program. To keep a check on this, Job Corps conducts drug tests before confirming the enrollment of any student to this program. The positive of a negative drug test result is that you get to experience the fulfilling Job Corps training program. 

So, now the answer to the question posed in the title is yes, let us move on to what we can expect in the drug test. Or ‘how does Job Corps drug test’? 

Who gets drug tested?

Job Corps conducts drug tests on those students who – 

  • Are new, or have been readmitted 
  • Tested positive on the entrance – these students are tested again on the 40th day after the first test
  • Have been suspected of drug use by any faculty or any other student at Job Corps
  • Test positive after the test on suspicion

Students are not randomly tested at any point, except for those training and professions that require random testing, such as the Department of Transportation (DOT)

Thus, the 4 types of drug tests that occur at Job Corps are – 

  • Entry Level Drug Test 
  • “45-day” Screening Test
  • Suspicion Screening Test
  • DOT Required Screening Test

How do they take a drug test?

Job Corps uses urinalysis to conduct drug tests on their students. This means that the urine samples of the students are tested for the remnants of drugs. The urine samples are collected and kept for analysis according to the chain-of-custody principles. These tests are only conducted by health and wellness staff members, trained in conducting such tests. 

The tests of urinalysis are analyzed using a cut-off system for drugs. A urine analysis is more accurate in detecting the presence of other illicit drugs except for alcohol. This is because alcohol passes through the human body system rather quickly as compared to other drugs. The CDD (Collaborative Drug Discovery) software is used by Job Corps for their drug tests.

A urine analysis drug test detects the use of drugs in the past few days. It cannot be used to determine – 

  • Frequency of use
  • Time since the last use
  • Current usage/impairment
  • No additional use since the last positive test result.

What do they test for?

The urinalysis is used to detect the presence of several drugs in the students. These drugs include – 

  1. Amphetamines
  2. Cannabinoids
  3. Cocaine
  4. Opiates
  5. Phencyclidine

All these drugs have predetermined cut-offs to indicate their presence. These cut-offs are indicated by the number of nanograms per milliliter of urine. All these drugs also have an approximate detection time, after which they are not present in the body to the levels that can be detected. 

The Road to Travel: Job Corps Training

Once you have experienced the positive side of a negative test result, i.e. once you have passed the drug test – either at the first entry or after the screening time, you can get selected to be trained by Job Corps. The training consists of 4 steps divided according to the type of training required. 

  1. Outreach and Admission – This is the first step of the training where the students are acquainted with the program and are informed about their responsibilities as a student. They are also informed about the different kinds of training available at Job Corps, and the steps to complete their graduation in each of those. 
  1. Career Preparation Period – This period lasts for the first 60 days of the student. During this period, the students are required to create a personal career plan and work towards it by learning basic responsibility skills, practicing job searching skills, and visiting the various job centers. 
  1. Career Development Period – This is the next step of the training wherein the students learn about the academic as well as technical skills required for their industry. They also learn about interpersonal and management skills. At this stage, the students start looking for jobs and preparing for an independent life. 
  1. Career Transition Period – This is the last phase of the Job Corps training, where the students graduate and begin their first jobs. They now find living accommodations and other resources to support themselves. The students can contact the Job Corps staff to seek support if required. 


This ends the Job Corps journey and with it, the site inspection and then digging deeper for information. I hope you can now satisfactorily believe that Job Corps is not the kind of police that we are familiar with. Having said that, it should be remembered that they do conduct drug tests and might even train students to become police officers. Nothing scary about that. 

Does Job Corps Drug Test?- All About Job Corps

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