An “Inside the Forest Service” document sent to all FS employees today stated that the agency will basically, in so many words, wash its hands of the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center program and transfer it to the Department of Labor. One thing the newsletter did not mention is that the Trump Administration also intends to permanently close nine of the twenty-five centers in the country.
The Job Corps centers, which are run by federal employees, help train youths in wildland firefighting, forestry, culinary arts, welding, and other trades. Their official mission is to educate 16- to 24-year-olds, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds, while helping U.S. conservation efforts on public lands. After graduating from the program many of the youths have training, skills, and experience that qualifies them for permanent jobs in government or private industry.
Job Corps crews are often used on wildfires and prescribed fires. At best this capability will be reduced by 36 percent with 9 centers closing. It remains to be seen if the personnel at the surviving 16 centers will be trained and allowed to participate in firefighting and other land management activities.
A press release issued by the Department of Labor revealed that nine of the centers would be closed. The Forest Service will have to request reduction in force (RIF) authority to do so, which may mean agency employees will lose their jobs. There is a report that nearly 1,100 Forest Service employees will be laid off.
The administration intends to replace the government employees that will run the remaining 16 centers with contractors, bringing to mind the cages that contain migrant children on the border and prisons that are operated on a for-profit basis, both run by contractors.
The information below came from the Department of Labor, May 24, 2019. They refer to the Job Corps as “Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers (CCC)”.
“Sixteen CCCs will continue under a new contract operator or partnership: Angell CCC in Yachats, Oregon; Boxelder CCC in Nemo, South Dakota; Centennial CCC in Nampa, Idaho; Collbran CCC in Collbran, Colorado; Columbia Basin CCC in Moses Lake, Washington; Curlew CCC in Curlew, Washington; Great Onyx CCC in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky; Harpers Ferry CCC in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia; Lyndon Johnson CCC in Franklin, North Carolina; Jacobs Creek CCC in Bristol, Tennessee; Mingo CCC in Puxico, Missouri; Pine Ridge CCC in Chadron, Nebraska; Schenck CCC in Pisgah Forest, North Carolina; Trapper Creek CCC in Darby, Montana; Weber Basin CCC in Ogden, Utah; and Wolf Creek CCC in Glide, Oregon.
“A Federal Register Notice will propose nine CCCs for deactivation: Anaconda CCC in Anaconda, Montana; Blackwell CCC in Laona, Wisconsin; Cass CCC in Ozark, Arkansas; Flatwoods CCC in Coeburn, Virginia; Fort Simcoe CCC in White Swan, Washington; Frenchburg CCC in Frenchburg, Kentucky; Oconaluftee CCC in Cherokee, North Carolina; Pine Knot CCC in Pine Knot, Kentucky; and Timber Lake CCC in Estacada, Oregon.”
What are you thoughts about closing 9 Job Corps centers and having the remaining 16 run by contractors in the Department of Labor?
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to William. Typos or errors, report them HERE.