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Cultivating Careers Through Job Corps: Jeremy Riemersma

Cultivating Careers Through Job Corps: Jeremy Riemersma

Jeremy Riemersma, an ACRT training instructor, has taught students at the Northlands Job Corps Center in Vergennes, Vt., for nearly two decades. Since 2005, Riemersma has been instrumental in shaping the lives and careers of countless young individuals.

Job Corps is a federally funded program through the U.S. Department of Labor that provides free career training and education for 16- through 24-year-olds. The program has over 120 campuses across the U.S. and Puerto Rico where students gain the experience needed to begin a career or apprenticeship, advance to higher education, or join the military.

While the program educates students on dozens of trades, Riemersma focuses on urban forestry, as most students have never climbed a tree, held a chainsaw, or run a chipper before enrolling. He provides instruction on climbing and safely cutting trees. He says he tries to run his class like a tree company and has the equipment, such as an aerial lift truck, chipper, and skid steer to coincide.

As part of the curriculum, Riemersma and the other instructors intertwine the following Job Corps career success standards throughout their lessons.

  1. Communications
  2. Interpersonal skills
  3. Workplace relationships and ethics
  4. Multicultural awareness
  5. Information management
  6. Personal growth and development
  7. Independent living
  8. Career and personal planning

When introducing Job Corps and his program to prospects and new students, Riemersma says, “It’s going to be hard and you’re going to experience diversity in ways that you haven’t before. We have students who come from the city, woods, you name it. But you can do it. You can do anything you want to – you just have to put your mind to it.”

For Riemersma, the most rewarding aspect of his job is witnessing the success of his students. Whether it’s receiving a call from a graduate who has found employment or encountering former students who credit him with changing their lives, Riemersma takes pride in the impact he has made.

Job Corps is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2024 and has renewed Riemersma’s dedication to helping students realize their potential. He emphasizes the opportunities offered by Job Corps, from year-round work to the ability to learn transferable skills applicable anywhere in the world, and encourages anyone who is between the ages of 16 and 24 to learn more.

ACRT Arborist Training Staff

ACRT Arborist Training provides entry-level through advanced arborist classes and certifications for line clearance companies, government agencies, tree care companies, municipalities, and individuals around the nation.


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