Davis Motor Sales banner ad

EricJonesEric JonesMUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (6/20/14) — Eric Jones, who most recently served as center director of the Bamberg Job Corps Center in South Carolina for four years, is the new center director of the Muhlenberg Job Corps.

Jones has more than 13 years of Job Corps experience. Prior to becoming center director at Bamberg, Jones held various senior management positions within Job Corps, including career development service director at Miami Job Corps; career development/transition program manager at Flint/Genesee Job Corps; independent living manager at Earle C. Clements; and career counselor and leadership coordinator at Excelsior Springs.

He has a master's degree in Business Management focusing on Job Corps Executive Management Programming from Minot State University in North Dakota, and a bachelor's of science degree in psychology, focusing on special education and anti-violence studies from Pittsburg State University in southeast Kansas. Jones currently is pursuing his doctorate in educational psychology at Northcentral University.

Jones said his move to Muhlenberg was motivated by "growth and development. I had been looking for a bigger center, and had been looking for an opportunity to work with Horizons Youth Services (which operates Muhlenberg)." Muhlenberg, with its current OBS of 343, is twice the size of Bamberg Job Corps, with an OBS of 173."

Jones said his leadership style emphasizes open communication and staff ownership of the program. "I encourage people to be fully functioning leaders at every level." His philosophy for students and staff is the same. "It's about growth and development for everyone. I'm passionate about lifelong learning."

His first priority at Muhlenberg is to "get to know the staff, get to know the team. The center has a great history. It was very successful in the past. I'm coming to listen, to see how I can help the center regain its high center ranking."

Jones is an enthusiastic supporter of Job Corps, not only because it is his livelihood, but also because it is a program he deeply identifies with. He describes himself as "kind of like a Job Corps student."

Jones recalls growing up with a sister who had serious medical issues, and having a limited relationship with his father and a strained relationship with his stepfather. "I know what it's like to not have what you want, to be angry, to be lost. At a certain point, you have to focus on yourself, be what you never had, try not to make the same mistakes."

A high school dropout, he earned his GED at a local community college, and then began to see that education could change his life. His focus shifted from the negatives in his life to the possibilities of what education, determination and training could do.

Jones acknowledges that the last year has been a rough one for Job Corps, and that some in Congress question the effectiveness of the program. "But what's the alternative?" he asks. "In reality Job Corps is the most successful preparatory program in the nation. These students are becoming taxpaying citizens."

He said Job Corps needs to be marketed as the "premier vocational scholarship program" with a compelling story. "We need to champion student success."

Jones is married and has three adult sons.

Jones replaces Kenny Brown, who served as Muhlenberg center director since 2009. In announcing the change on management at the center, Horizons Youth Services President Pete Calvo said of Brown, "We say farewell to a gentleman, a friend ... and a true champion of Job Corps."

Calvo praised Brown, saying "Words cannot describe the ways in which he has contributed to the success of the Muhlenberg center and Horizons Youth Services. Kenny has helped to create and maintain a center culture seldom seen in the Job Corps community. He has maintained a supportive and caring environment, and will leave an indelible mark upon all of us."

Brown resigned to pursue other interests.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Karen Robinson

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Feb. 27, 2015

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (2/27/15) — The Madisonville Police Department released the following reports Friday, Feb. 27. Warren… Read More

Atmos Energy: Faulty Heating Unit to Blame for Walmart Gas Odor

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (2/27/15) — A rooftop-heating unit was to blame for Wednesday’s temporary evacuation at Walmart… Read More

Most Read This Week

February 21, 2015 6822

Traffic Advisory for Western Kentucky

in Top News For All Sites by KTC
February 25, 2015 5901

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 25, 2015 5829

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 24, 2015 5826

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 5622

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 21, 2015 5303

Local Administrators Warn Employees to Watch for…

in Top News For All Sites by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 28, 2015

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

February 26, 2015 2767

Man Accused of Holding Woman against Will,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 26, 2015 2697

Woman Charged for Allegedly Selling Hydrocodone

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
February 26, 2015 1943

Area College Students Touched by Cancer are…

in Top News For All Sites by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 26, 2015 1899

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

in Hopkins News by Barry Franklin
February 26, 2015 1832

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Feb. 26, 2015

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
February 26, 2015 1777

Probation and Parole Violators - February 26,…

in Video by Crime Stoppers
February 26, 2015 1582

Super Sunday Hall of Fame Alumni Honored College…

in Top News For All Sites by Joyce Riggs
February 26, 2015 1459

Walmart Evacuated after Customer Alerts 911 of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 26, 2015 1175

Gov. Beshear Announces NASCO Expansion in Bowling…

in General News For All Sites by Office of the Governor
February 26, 2015 1088

Lions Man, Woman of Year Announced

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Chris Findley