Anchorage, Alaska — For years, Job Corps of Alaska has educated and trained youth, helping them transition into the work force. Like many Alaskans, the program caught the eye of 18 year-old Christian Kaz, who applied last December.
"I was very, very hopeful. I was calling everyday, saying I wanted to be in Job Corps," Christian said.
On Thursday, he heard back from Job Corps about his application. It was rejected, and Christian claims Job Corps told him that was because of a comment he made during his interview. When he was asked if he would be okay with sharing a dorm room with other students, Christian says he told the interviewer he would feel uncomfortable if he had a roommate that was gay.
"I'm not a hater, I'm not. I'm just uncomfortable with the situation," Christian said.
A staff member at the Palmer Job Corps center tells Channel 2 that Christian's comment raised a "red flag" and his application was "screened out." She said Job Corps does not ask applicants about their sexual orientation and cannot make special housing accommodations. Deanne Amaden, Job Corps' regional director of public affairs based out of San Francisco sent a statement Friday, which reads:
"The Job Corps program is a federal job training program, and as such serves a diverse population. We encourage anyone interested in Job Corps to contact the admissions office to learn more about Job Corps, and to explore the training and housing options available."
The Palmer Job Corps staffer says she told Christian to apply again without mentioning his concerns about the dorm living situation. But Christian says after everything that happened, he does not plan to.
"The way that I feel their opinion is, is that I have to keep mine to myself. I'm kind of offended so I don't think that i will be applying," Christian said.
The statement from Amaden also said that if someone is denied admission, they have the right to appeal that decision. Job Corps' admission requirements state that the applicant must appear willing to live in a multi-cultural environment, including living and working with members of various races, ethnic backgrounds, political and religious affiliations, and sexual orientations.