The Trump administration terminated near-term plans to close the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers, a U.S. Forest Service program that trains underprivileged youth primarily in rural communities, amid Congressional backlash, according to Agriculture and Labor departments per Politico.
What they're saying:
"...For the time being, USDA does not intend to transfer these centers to DOL to allow management to determine a pathway that will maximize opportunity and result for students, minimize disruptions, and improve overall performance and integrity. DOL and USDA will conduct a robust organizational review to determine the appropriate course of action keeping in mind the USFS mission, the students we serve and the American taxpayers."— per a statement from USDA and DOL spokesperson
The backdrop: In late May, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue opted for the Forest Service to eliminate nonessential activities. Nine of 25 Job Corps centers were expected to close starting in September, while another 16 were to be transferred. Nearly 1,100 federal employees would have been laid off.
- A recent letter from lawmakers to Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta challenged the Trump administration’s claim that Forest Service Job Corps centers are expensive and low-performing, per Politico.
- Lawmakers also suggested that shutting down the program could threaten disaster response across the country.