Senators Move to Block Plans to Shutter Job Training Centers

A couple of bills were introduced Tuesday in response to the recent announcement to shutter federal job training centers that serve at-risk youth and move some to be run by private contractors.

In a May 30 Federal Register notice, the Labor Department announced its proposal to deactivate nine Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers and move the remaining 16 to the agency. Doing so could bolster the overall management and operation of the Job Corps program, by funneling program resources on better-performing centers and upping cost efficiency, among other things, DOL said.

The newly introduced the Job Corps Protection Act would block the administration from using federal funds in 2019 or 2020 to close any Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers in the nation. The bill also puts the kibosh on agencies from changing agreements that operate Job Corps facilities, thus preventing them from privatization.

The plans to close or transfer the centers instantly drew ire from the American Federation of Government Employees, which said May 31 it “vehemently opposes” the plans.

“We’ve seen this time and time again,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said then. “The administration wants to fire unionized federal employees and contract out their jobs to for-profit companies.”

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