Job corps is a federally funded program that offers free technical training programs for youth ages 16-24.Penobscot Job Corps Academy in Bangor offers everything from welding to advanced baking, and they have openings for those that qualify.Twenty-year-old Matthew Rudge decided to follow in his two brothers’ footsteps and attend Penobscot Job Corps.”For me, when I first came here, I was a shy kid and wouldn’t talk in front of a lot of people, but I’ve grown and I talk in assemblies and right now, being interviewed, I never used to be able to do this, but I’ve grown a lot since I’ve been there,” said Rudge. The Abbot native has been at Job Corps for almost a year. He’s now studying to be a certified medical assistant.”I didn’t have experience in it at all until I came here and I have a lot of experience. I did my clinicals at Maine Vets, three weeks of it,” said Rudge. The Maine Veterans Home has already hired him. He hopes to work for awhile and eventually go to college to become a registered nurse. “He had a kind of a rough start to begin, but he took the initiative, he’s really come a long way,” said Karen Getchell, Medical Assistant Instructor at the school.”Matt is a typical Penobscot Job Corps student. He comes here kind of feeling it out, what’s going on, finds himself, but students mature, they grow up. They feel good about themselves. They make friends and understand the process that work is coming,” said Mike Jellison, Business & Community Liaison, at Penobscot Job Corps Academy. This past January, the federally funded program took a financial hit and Job Corps programs around the country had to stop accepting students, but now, they have more openings for students like Matt. “As a matter of fact, we have 50 openings that we could serve youth in the state of Maine and New England. Come out to our open house. You’re going to meet students, you’re going to meet staff,” said Jellison. “You learn about what trade you want to get into and they have great instructors, so you’ll learn a lot from them and get a job when you get out of here,” said Rudge. The Penobscot Job Corps Academy’s open house is from 10:30am-2:30pm this Thursday.Visitors will get to meet staff and students and enjoy a bbq.In addition to the open house, Penobscot Job Corps Academy is also holding a job fair the same day from 9am-5pm.They have openings at the school including substitute teacher and security positions.