Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Forest Service giving rural Job Corps program to Labor Dept., which will close nine centers and outsource 16

The Trump administration announced last week that it will shutter a U.S. Forest Service program that provides vocational training to disadvantaged rural teens and young adults. About 1,100 employees will lose their jobs starting in September, in what is believed to be the largest single layoff of federal employees in a decade, Lisa Rein reports for The Washington Post.

"The Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers enroll more than 3,000 students a year in rural America," Rein writes. "The soon-to-close centers — in Montana, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Virginia, Washington state, Kentucky, North Carolina and Oregon — include hundreds of jobs in some of President Trump’s political strongholds. In Congress, members of both parties objected to the plan."

The Labor Department will assume control of the program, and plans to close nine centers and hand over 16 to state governments or private companies. It will continue operating urban Job Corps programs, Rein reports.

Federal officials said the revamp was necessary because many of the rural programs are inefficient, low-performing, and costly. "Job Corps has been a troubled program, with student safety issues, staff turnover and, in some centers, a poor record of job placement," Rein reports.

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