Rep. Fattah Tells Job Corps Graduates: "Work Harder, Believe in Yourself; You Can Achieve"

Aug 24, 2012, 17:01 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), a national champion for the Job Corps and other training programs that connect under-served young Americans with jobs that boost the national economic recovery, delivered an inspiring Commencement Keynote on Friday at lively and crowded Philadelphia graduation ceremonies on National Job Corps Commencement Day.

"You should be the architect of your own life," Fattah told 100 Philadelphia area graduates and 300 guests at the Embassy Suites Philadelphia Airport, quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his last Philadelphia visit. "Imagine, believe, achieve. Anything you believe, you can achieve. Work harder and believe in yourself."

Fattah's speech captured the energy in the ballroom, which erupted in cheers, whoops and applause as graduates – as well as their parents and children – were each introduced by name. Tassels were flipped, red roses presented, and there were smiles all around.

"It's the first time I have ever seen that done at a graduation," Fattah said, referring to name recognition of family members. "First and foremost, congratulations to each of you. But you know you didn't arrive at this moment all by yourselves."

Fattah, as a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, has been a leading advocate for the Job Corps, and last year announced a $37.3 million grant for the Philadelphia Job Corps Center. Nationwide, the Office of Job Corps in the U.S. Department of Labor is budgeted to spend nearly $2.4 billion for the current fiscal year.

"The Job Corps is something I have fought for and championed," Fattah said. "It works for young people who desire to do much more with their lives. It is an appropriate use of your tax dollars."

"Every federal dollar spent on this valuable training is repaid many times over as these tax-paying young people step out from the Job Corps into tomorrow's global economy," Fattah said.

Job Corps Centers in 125 communities are celebrating student achievement and success on Friday. The theme in Philadelphia, said Job Corps Center Director Earldene Lewis, is "Changing Lives and Moving Forward."

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah