US: Trump Administration Plans To Close Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers - - PressFrom - US
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USTrump Administration Plans To Close Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers

23:45  24 may  2019
23:45  24 may  2019 Source:   huffingtonpost.com

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Trump Administration Plans To Close Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers© The Washington Post via Getty Images President Donald Trump plans to close training centers that have been preparing disadvantaged kids for jobs in conservation.

Officials at the Forest Service informed staffers on Friday that at least nine of the agency’s 25 Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers would be closing.

The conservation centers, which are run by federal employees, help train youth in wildland firefighting, forestry, disaster recovery and other outdoor jobs. Their official mission is to educate 16- to 24-year-olds, many of them from disadvantaged backgrounds, while helping U.S. conservation efforts on public lands.

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Many kids end up with vocational and GED certificates as a result of the program. Working in different units of the Forest Service, apprentices in the program also help first responders during national emergencies and disasters.

Most of the centers are clustered in the South and West on national forest lands. Those slated to close are in Montana, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Virginia, Washington, Kentucky, North Carolina and Oregon.

Forest Service officials told staffers that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue would be transferring control of all 25 of the job centers to the Labor Department. Fifteen would continue to operate, they said, but nine would be “deactivated,” and there would be layoffs as a result.

“Please know that this was a high-level policy discussion and decision, and in no way reflects on the excellent work and dedication that you all demonstrate on a daily basis,” Vicki Christiansen, the chief of the Forest Service, said on the call.

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The union representing federal employees who staff the sites has been fighting to keep them open under the Trump administration. The National Federation of Federal Employees has been warning since 2017 that the job corps centers could be on the chopping block, calling the plans “a divestiture in America and in our young people.”

“Forest Service Job Corps is a program of opportunity,” the agency says on its website. “The majority of its students come from low-income communities, both urban and rural, who are seeking pathways to prosperity. After completing training, graduates return to their communities as productive workers, consumers, community leaders and entrepreneurs.”

Trump Administration Plans To Close Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers© U.S. Forest Service Locations of the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers slated to be closed.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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