Trump administration plans to close 9 Job Corps centers

The remaining 16 would be transferred to the Department of Labor and run by contractors

south dakota fire crew job corps
Black Hills National Forest firefighter and crewboss trainee, Josh Walk took this photo of his crew of firefighters from Box Elder Job Corps and Rapid City Fire Department, working the 2015 Buckhorn Saddle Fire on the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana.

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?

Crow Peak Fire Job Corps
Crow Peak Fire June 25, 2016. Photo by Robert Cota, Boxelder Job Corps Crew 15 Fire Program Manager, Black Hills National Forest.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to William. Typos or errors, report them HERE.

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

137 thoughts on “Trump administration plans to close 9 Job Corps centers”

  1. I can only hope that common sense will ultimately prevail. To do what is being proposed is an incredibly stupid [yes, stupid] decision. This program is one of the true success stories of our time. I am at a loss for words for this extremely short-sighted proposal. Clearly, we must stand tall and not let this happen.

        1. The facts appear quite clear. I worked job corps for about 15 years b4 retirement due to my vision. I have read this over and over. Absolute Best Case Scenario for my job corps family and thousands and thousands of young ppl who go on to work union jobs, fulltime barge employees, the military, …reputable and stable job …..BEST CASE SCENARIO…Some contractor will come in and buy the closing centers out….and ppl will work for minimum wage. Ppl who have devoted Decades to THESE AMAZING, LIFE CHANGING programs.
          This is devastating.

          1. Thank you for being there and helping save and change lives to so many teen and young adults. My son is currently in san marcus job corps and is learning so much. He didnt have a chance here at home. Sadly to say. But they changed him and shaped his future.

        2. Yes, why don’t you…..I have and I know the reasoning is not rational. The only motivation for doing this is to hand over to for-profit businesses and getting more money for the “Wall”.

        3. We’ve gotten the facts and reasoning. The tax cuts for the rich mean the poor and middle class have to pay. Here’s how we’re doing it.

        4. I worked one of the centers named to be shut down. A lot of improvements could be made. It was good for so many young people and such a waste of taxpayer money for so many others. Trump is looking at the numbers and doing what he feels is right. I will not so he differently in 2020. He’s doing the right thing based on what he sees.

          1. “trump is looking at numbers” SERIOUSLY? A president who, in his first 2 years in office, has added over $3 trillion to our debt, a large part due to his tax breaks to large corporations is “looking at numbers” LOL. More like he is getting favors from the contractors destined to make huge profits from these centers. In addition, the fact cannot be ignored that the students who attend are as a whole, not his base…..

          2. Hmm, if he’s running this from a business mindset then the ccc is enough of a money pit that his decision makes sense. I only see this ending well for the people if good contractors step up instead of greedy or unconcerned ones. Otherwise, only the feds benefit…. slightly.

          3. Yes, this is exactly what my son said after attending the job Corps in Indianapolis area. And finish with a diploma that none of the colleges take. Such a waste of money. So many drugs in these places it’s a wonder anyone got anything thing done, oh wait they didn’t. He is still struggling with even paying for rent.
            Let’s just hope he gets a GED so he can actually get into college or get a job that pays enough for rent and food.
            A poor mom because of this, with no faith in the promises they make.
            Very disappointed in the so called Job Corps

        5. go ahead and wait for fax and the one reason…profits not principles. Do things right… to make profits and not do the right thing for the people.

      1. It was slated for closing long ago not necessarily this administration! The employees are all given an opportunity to resume under contract which has been running many positions already!!!

        1. Wow, Evelyn, where do you get your info from? The contracts companies havent even been considered yet – there is nothing in place. And even if/when they are in place -best case scenario is possibly a year from now- all former FS staff will have to apply and interview for the positions – they don’t just get to “resume” them. Just because you had a bad experience – I seriously question when/where and for how long you worked at a center AND what your relationship was to the students – does not mean they all should be condemned, especially the FS Job Corps which as a whole are more successful than contract centers AND they fill A LOT of community service needs.

        2. Evelyn, you are addressing a different issue:
          Some States have more than one JC. Closing the underperforming centers in those States made sense. That was what was being looked at before perdue was appointed to USDA. As a result of perdue, not necessarily is the 9 FS JC’s destined to be shut down the ones that should have been – I do not believe all were the underperformers in each State, they are being shut down regardless. So your statement is incorrect in today’s context.

        3. I am a Job Corps employee. No such offer has materialized! As of last Friday DOL/USDA had no stated plans of any kind. Nor has anything materialized asof today.Currently it is all RIF and retire early….As for Centennial JC…not a single student remains.
          Why would I give up my federal retirement, blue cross and tsp to work for considerably less under a contract center?
          I call BS.

        4. To Williams:
          Hey mom, when do you take responsibility for your son? Blaming JC? Seriously? Job Corps can’t help a student if he doesn’t want it. Sounds like he didn’t finish high school? That’s on you. Using JC as a scapegoat is not going to help your son. Your son taking responsibility for his life will though. Job Corps is not a miracle cure, sorry. There are lots of good trades at JC where a student who wants to work and get a good job can. No, it is not a community college, it doesn’t pretend to be. You cannot transfer credits from the JC trades to a college, that’s just plain silly. And the drugs? They are accessible even in prisons. The students are not locked-up and it isn’t rehab. If a student wants drugs, they will get them. The staff tries but there are many places on your person and in your effects where you can hide drugs. Your expectations of what Job Corps are irrational.

    1. How is this any different than any of the other 100+ Job Corps currently run by contractors?

      I worked at a Job Corps once, for a contractor, and these kids are very difficult to rehabilitate. I’m not saying it’s not worth it, but in my experience, many of the instructors gave up on the children long ago. The center I was at was a glorified daycare, and we regularly outranked all other Job Corps, even the Government-run JCs.

      I’m expecting a lot of flack over this decision from people who really know nothing about Job Corps centers.

      I feel for these kids, and I think we need to help them; I just don’t believe Job Corps’s the ticket.

      1. The difference is that the government centers would also send student crews to fight fires and tend the base camps.

        All of them are funded by government money, but the value added by the fire duties made the government centers more efficient, basically two birds with one stone.

      2. you are correct. The Federally run Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers are often filled with Staff who are showing up for a paycheck. I’ve seen theft, manipulative hostile behaviors, supervisors who are not supervising or able to handle staff and of course the useless managers doing the same. What is worse is that the people in charge of the Forest Service and DOL knew this was being planned last year. As they closed the center in Golconda the forest service pushed jobs at people not caring if they were actually qualified or not and used personal preference in recommending their select employees. Some of who were horrible attitudes and lazy workers. Getting rid of under performing centers and centers that do not have a real success in jobs afterwards is what was needed. Many of these trades can be trained for elsewhere. Turning all the rest into contract centers saves money I hope. I saw corruption at most levels. Dont get me started on the male staff who slept with students or female staff doing the same. Sneaking in contraband for the students, getting away with all manner of things.. At least in a contract environment they can be fired easier than being a federal employee. I seriously doubt the fire crews will be in trouble. Many of the centers did not have a decent fire fighting crew to begin with.

      3. The key part of you messsage was that you were at a contract center…not a CCC one. That is what will happen to CCC ones, that is what they will become…kids will get loaded through and it will be all about the numbers and the money not the kids. My Job Corps CCC rocks. Nothing is easy but we see amazing transformations

      4. you have no idea what your talking about.. these are not day centers they live there and these are not bad/last chance kids like the day centers.. these are rural farm kids and kids and adults! in small towns with few jobs looking for a trade.. and to say you out ranked government run centers proves to me you have no clue what your talking about there 2 completely different things…

        1. These are not rural farm kids. I give asvab test to these kids and most of these kids are there because this is their last option.

      5. I too worked at a JCC for a contactor. There were some problems, but certainly not all were bad. To say that they were glorified day care centers is fictiscious. Job Corps has helped a lot of people. That is the truth.

        1. how can anyone say that these are day cares, well I am a grad from curlew wash. and that was back in the 70’s and if job corp wasn’t there for me and alot of others we wouldn’t of had a good life …. So thank you JOB CORPS for being there for us.

      6. I think you are naive, and have based your opinions about ALL jobcorps, and the young people who attend them, on one jobcorps center, and a couple of mis-behaving students. After reading what you wrote, it’s my opinion, that you really don’t know a whole about Job Corp.
        I decided when I was 16, that I could do better if I stopped attending school, and got a real job. Obviously, that didn’t last too long, and I quickly became just another statistic. My stepmother heard about Job Corp from a friend, and I decided I would get what I needed, so I could try it out. Anyways, long story short, I flourished their, I became a leader, I received my ged, and my h.s. diploma, I participated in sports and social activities, I went out on fire crew, and I met some life long friends. I’m sure it may seem like a daycare at times, but there are a lot of success story’s. Also , my teachers and leaders, loved what they did. I owe them a lot!!!

      7. I work for a government run job corps and you are sadly mistaking the program. The system is red taped to death and needs some serious attention, but it really is the best place for these and when I say these young people to go you know what I mean. They need some training and most would fail out of college as fast as they dropped out of high school. As far as you say the contract centers are under paid and under staffed. This is why the instructors have given up. I personally have been teaching for 10 years now and still love it very much. I know I have had many success with students getting great jobs right out of JC. My thought for you, is you say you worked at a JC once. If you were paid correctly you probably still would and you would have great respect for what you do for young people. But do to being a contract center you were paid very low wages and so you moved on and this explains your statement. I really wonder if you know much about JC.

        1. I agree. There is a lot of good that comes out of Job Corps, much more than bad. Speak with the students, hear them, then you will know and understand what a difference Job Corps has made in their lives. I know very little of what it is like to work at a contract center except that the dollar is the bottom line for them, not the students. trump and perdue care nothing for the underprivileged youth that attends Job Corps as a second (NOT LAST) chance at learning and success. To them cutting corners and making a profit is what is important regardless of the consequences.

      8. You maybe right, I don’t know where you were teaching.. I do know some kids that went thru JC did well, got their GED, had a trade etc.. it’s like any school, some are going to get it,some will not.

      9. The rub is that they are closing many of these centers in areas that need them most. Oregon has seen massive fires in recent years, and to close so many JC Centers here is just insane. Contractors won’t run these any cheaper, that’s for sure!

      10. In my experience, and I interact with many Job Corps students when they take the GED, these kids react very positively when they know that people truly care. I love, love, love the happiness they express when they pass the test! I enjoy getting to know them and that they appreciate even the smallest offerings, such as a cup of coffee or a bagel while waiting for others to finish testing. They delight in each others’ accomplishments and are sympathetic when someone hasn’t quite made it yet. Then there are the many caring instructors who have worked with these “kids” for years and now are facing job loss in a location that offers few alternatives. Then, let’s mention at least one of the many contributions of the Job Corps members: battling increasing wildfires. The results of this decision already are devastating, morale wise, and, sadly, the decision is one of many that keeps the rich, rich and the poor, poor.

      11. you don’t sound like you are who you say you are. I am a job core student and say with full up frontal honesty that this place is not a daycare. what it is is life changing since i have been at job core for as long as i have my opinions on the place has changed drastically.i have been taught a good work ethic have surrounded myself with caring people who share similar backgrounds with one common interest to be somebody. the foods not the best but the staff and students have all become like a long lost family.there is so much that happens that the world doesn’t get to see. its a shame that this wonderful place is going to end soon .

      12. Good response Pro JC.
        young people are in need of an initiation into their culture…JC is just one. Who the students meet while in the learning environment is critical to their integration of the information. the more choices our young people have to meet the mentor, guide, coach, elder…the better is the culture upon the “return”.
        If it is about money, the student is “robbed” of an authentic experience of integration of who they are and whom they will become.

    2. I tutor children in literacy through Americorp. Different branch but i think it is a matter of time before he gets to us. Great waste of something that is working.

    3. I am one of the many parents who can say with honesty job corps saved my child’s life and gave him purpose. This idiot ruins everything that doesn’t fit his warped agenda! Smh!

    4. Hi my name is Charlie Booth. As a child I grew up on the streets and group homes. I had no parents to raise me. I was headed down the wrong path in life until a judge gave me two options. He told me I can go to a juvenile institution or job corp. I choose Job Corp! It was the best decision I have ever made. I went to curlew job corps and graduated the construction program 21 years ago. Since then i joined the labors union right after job corps and have been working for 21 years strait. Right now I work for walsh construction out of portland, OR and have been there for 17 years!! If it was not for job corps I can truly say i would not have had this job and life for myself!! I think Trump should leave this program alone.

    5. If the budget is $1.7 billion per year as appropriated by Congress, how many students does it actually graduate each year? Can students/firefighters help other areas if needed? Maybe federal vs private job corps (already in existing) need to be compared on basis of graduates and job placements.
      Is landscaping and tree removal in the program for example?
      Our economy changes over time and some programs may need to be added and others reduced. I would like this to be a successful program and opportunity for those who wish a better life.

  2. Using contractors instead of federal employees is privatization.

    In the words of Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Ronald Reagan:

    “Whenever you hear ‘privatization,’ you are hearing the formation of a scam that will create riches for insiders while taking the public to the cleaners.”

        1. That’s the bottom line. Contracting out is the absolute worst decision. We say it over and over but the scammers like Trump keep trying to enrich themselves and their friends on the taxpayers money with underpaid and no benefits jobs.

  3. I’ve worked for Job Corp and found it to be an amazing program. My question is why. Have the programs had a reduction in participation? Federal employees with retirement benefits vs Contractors providing 401k instead would be a minimal cost savings. The story is missing critical details.

    1. The why is that if it isn’t making someone rich, it isn’t working. That’s capitalism, it isn’t worth investing in if it only does good for society, it has to make someone rich to be considered a worthwhile return on investment. Job Corps is an easier target but rest assured that the end goal is to privatize all the work done by the federal government. There is a large sum of potential profit to be pulled from over compensated federal workers who get pensions, decent benefits, and reasonable wages. You could contract the work out on a contract basis with no bennies and a competitive labor market (see paying lower wages) and all the extra money can line the pockets of the contract holders. Will good work get done? Who cares, profit isn’t based on a job well done.

  4. Privatization of job corps centers will have the same result as the privatization of our notional park camping reservations, as our prison system and as our border “detention” centers and schools. Not in the best interest of our country, it’s citizens or taxpayers.
    Not in the interest of the general good.

    1. 100+ Job Corps are already operated by contractors. They’re merely being consistent and converting the rest to the private sector.

      I worked for a JC once and I wasn’t impressed by the program. At all. It was operated by a contractor and we regularly “outranked” other centers, both privately- and publicly-operated. So I can only imagine how poorly the others were doing.

  5. I go to Job Corps Blackwell I am 17 years old going for my CNA license. We just got the news this morning. Most of us came here to better ourselves and to make a better future. This center has become home to all of us. But with it closing some of us don’t know what to do or where to go. It’s honestly heartbreaking and I hope they choose not to.

    1. I live just a few miles away in Armstrong Creek, I do not know much about what is happening there currently. But, I know first hand that there are not many opportunities in our area. I hope you can find somewhere to finish what you started. Do not let this ruin your plans. Keep up the good work.

  6. My comment is that I hope some good transition planning will be implemented regarding this decision. Reluctantly, it seems that it will be a huge loss for our disadvantaged youth in our society.

  7. I work in a adolescent recovery center in Kentucky. These young boys have no hope of being good citizens and contribute to our communities without help from programs such as the Job Corp. Several young men from our facility have gone into the Job Corp and are trained to be chefs, nurses, carpenters, and firefighters, to name a few. They’ve had support from our government through job Corp programs to become outstanding citizens. We don’t get help as it is from the government in paying for treatment. Now they are pulling the rug out from under kids in our area by closing two centers… While big shots make these decisions they aren’t looking at the big picture… pay for education and shelter for a little while or pay for years of hospital bills or prison time. Or families lose children because kids are treated like worthless human beings not worthy of our help… Do the math.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! Not all kids are on the same college path. We need to provide options such as trade schools, job corps, etc. Valuable training. Sad but not surprising move by the Trump administration.

  8. So where does this leave the Wolf Creek Hotshots? They are a type 1 crew working out of the Wolf Creek Job Corp center.

    1. That didn’t stop them from closing the FF1 program at Centennial a few months ago.

      All the surviving Job Corp programs are going back to DOL, so I highly doubt they will let them continue to participate on wildfires. They will be sorely missed.

  9. I currently work for one of the Centers that are slated to close. The Forest Service CCC’s give back so much in fire and disaster assistance and community service. This is a devastating loss to our Center, Students, Staff and Community. We have had so many success stories come out of our Center, students that still keep in touch years after Graduation that talk about how much Job Corp changed their lives. The county where our Center is located is ranked the poorest in the United States. The struggle is very real here and will have a huge impact on the area with loss of wages, small business spending, and tax base. It will affect families who have no other way to support their health care needs and living expenses. I am at a loss as to how this is going to be beneficial in any way, when you compare the cost to land preservation, human life, jobs and the drain to society’s public assistance programs. I hope this can be prevented.

  10. I currently work with Fort Simcoe Job Corps and have been there for almost 15 years as a supervisor and detailed manager in the residential living department. I attended Angell Job Corps and graduated in business when I was younger – displaced from home. I know Job Corps was the stepping stone for me as I wasn’t always confident in my self to succeed. I attended a boarding school, graduated at 17 and decided to go to job corps for a better life. after I graduated from Western Business College I knew I could further my education because of the job corps staff that helped me believe I could succeed. I continued my education, receiving a BA in Sociology, BA in Urban and Regional Planning and a Masters Degree specializing in E-commerce. The Job Corps program works; I have dedicated my life to the program to help guide, counsel, and mentor many students to succeed and graduate. This is the saddest day of my entire life having to inform my staff members we no longer exist….

    1. Hi! I heard Your Center is closing! Sad! Hope you can find something in Federal Service! I worked @ Angell 1989-1998! Good Luck! Bill Richman!

  11. This doesn’t surprise me. I think more cuts are on the way. I just hope this President doesn’t get re-elected.

    1. Everyone needs to contact their State and Federal Representatives and voice your concerns and more, that you’ve presented here today.

      The Salmon-Challis CC and AmeriCorp have been working here on the forest for the past month. They get educational credits and a monthly stipend, it costs the Salmon-Challis FS for 6-8 of them, $1600/month. It would cost far more for private contractors.

      As many have commented here, the educational experience for anyone involved in the on-the-job training in the field, is immense and immeasurable.

  12. More stupidity…. vote these nitwits out! Privatization = Profit…for someone. As a contractor I FIRMLY believe that there functions that the government should manage, like this program, prisons, etc. It’s a long list!
    While I’m very proud of my work as a contract engine and WUI fuels reduction company, I fear the day that some HUGE corporation takes over wildland fire…This is another stone in that path….Be safe out there.

  13. I worked at a FS center for many years. These students help provide a valuable asset in the form of camp crews. We will be hurting now unless these contractors carry the torch.

    1. If you thought we were stretched thin last year, just wait until we don’t have Job Corps camp crews and fire teams helping us out anymore.

  14. My husband works for job corps and is the sole income for our household we have worked hard and sacrificed so much and just completed the purchase of our first home.i have many medical issues and the loss of our insurance income and possibly home is devastating.my own children were planning on attending job corps to build their future.we are just one family being destroyed by trump’s privatization of amazing government programs.

  15. This is so sad thanks to job Corp I was able to have a restart in life I went to Timberlake jop Corp spent a year and a half there thanks to them im a productive member of society this truly tears me up I’ll never forget the lessons I learned there 😭

  16. I was the survivor of a very violent domestic violence assault that left me a single parent without an education to provide for my child. I completed the Pharmacy Technician program in 2003. I worked as PT for many years before becoming the Pharmacy Tech Instructor at our Job Corps center. I can truly attest to the success of this program. Without it, I would certainly be another domestic violence statistic. Instead, I am a contributing member of society, a homeowner and someone proud to give back to the program that gave me so much. PLEASE encourage congress to reconsider this decision!! Our current students and future students as well as federal employees need your support!!

  17. Job Corps is a place for at -risk young people and low income young people have an amazing opportunity to earn diplomas and train for a lifelong career! How can Job Corps be considered unnecessary?!! Then of course there is the issue of taking valuable fire fighters away from the forest fires all over the country. How is this a good thing in any way? And don’t forget the many many employees who run these campuses. Men and women who have spent their lives trying to help the young people in these programs. They will be out of a job that they’ve poured their heart and soul into! And what in the world are the kid’s supposed to do? Hundreds of these young people will be derailed! They will have no idea where to turn and many will go back to square one. It makes no sense at all. 😢

  18. My question is why do they have to close? My daughter is currently going through Job Corps. How many more cuts are coming our way? How is closing going to help those in need to become productive members of society? Job Corps teaches these kids to make in the world as an adult. Therefore it will help with future generations to succeed. What is he thinking?

  19. Remember, contract centers are for “profit.” You will get minimal community service from them and lower wages, which will reap higher turnover. One thing these students need in their lives is consistency

  20. Rachel Lee Hall speaking for Forest Under Stress( FUS).

    Dear Mr. President and Lawmakers,

    Because I live in Oregon were many young women and men find work fighting fires, building trails, and leaning a life skill, this would seem counter productive to eliminate a work force that would not traditionally fit into other forms of our labor force, and yet so needed. The young folks are worth the investment.
    As a past educator of small children, I state: early intervention does not cost it pays.
    These young folks will give back more than invested in the training by learning hard work ethics, not to mention they provide a needed service in our forest.

    Kindly,
    Rachel Lee Hall
    Forest Under Stress (FUS)
    https://healthyforests.org/2019/01/rachel-lee-hall-forests-under-stress/

  21. So irritated!!! We just received the call today that my son who was set to arrive Tuesday is no longer able. We are hoping to have him go to another facility but there are no guarantees!!! Thanks for nothing Trump administration.

  22. I taught at fort simcoe job corps center for 15 years. This is a huge mistake! The center changed the lives for the better for hundreds of students every year!!! They learned skills, got GED or high school degrees and got trade and basic life skills!! I am still in touch with many on social media and feel like I’m part of their lives ! Please keep the centers open and operational!!! Best investment ever!!!! Saved so many lives!!

  23. This leaves me speechless. With Fire season starting in the West, the savings from a decision like this could cost many times over what might be saved.
    It is like saying, “Let’s toss out the life jackets & pumps so we can save on weight and fuel expenses.”

  24. Thats were i got my foot in door to were i am at know started on a job corps fire crew know im an engine operator on a engine crew for a bia company im an fft1 ic5 and and engine boss trainee and a helicopter crew member job corps open the door to me to wildfire and it should be there for all other students to Participate in.

  25. What the??? My son was set to begin Monday and we got a call this afternoon that he’s now on hold? We were told that his center is up for closure. But what I don’t understand is why close anaconda when they have such a high success rate? My son has worked his butt off over the last year and a half , 6 months in youth challenge then came home to finish high school, he’s tried his hardest to stay out of any more trouble and was finally excited about his future. We got him all enrolled and he is accepted and now back in limbo… I’m scared he’s going to give up and think we’ve all failed him…
    So… here he sits, more than likely along with many other kids, waiting ….
    These kids NEED job Corp.. for MANY different reasons… and either our government helps them in the short term training or they’re going to pay a heck of alot more long term when half these kids end up in prison…. c’mon…. common sense guys!!!

    Please pass the word to everyone you know… lets flood our government with our pleas to NOT close any of these job Corp centers!!!!

    1. Yeah. But maybe they are contract prisons! So then that “heck of a lot more” money goes to a good cause. (Please forgive me for that. It is tongue-in-cheek.)

      I truly am disgusted with these closures and the loss of great non-monetary gain to young people that can use a worthwhile jump-start to adulthood.

  26. While I believe this is a poor decision for our youth that have inroads to structure in their lives that they may have never had as well the ability to learn a skill. The big loss I see for the wildfire community is the loss of the camp crews they provides. The firefighting crews will be a loss that will be picked by contractors, but camp crews are doubtful. In a good economy, the pay for basic camp labor struggles to meet a States minimum wage when they use the Fed’s rate. Burger flippers will make more… We are struggling to come up with enough camp crews now. Take away the Job Corps and we will be in a real bind….

  27. What a damn disgrace. Taking away a Program that has saved so many young men and women, all for the almighty dollar, absolutely sickens me, and should sicken every American. Pine Knot Job Corps has always been the standard to which so many other Centers measure themselves against, however now our Center is no longer worth saving? I am a Counselor at Pine Knot Job Corps and I have witnessed firsthand over the years, just what an impact our Program has had on our students but now it has become very clear that our young men and women, especially those that come from our inner cities and rural areas simply do not matter to this Administration. I challenge Secretary Perdue to come to our Center and walk around-talk to our students and staff to see the lives that your I’ll-informed decision has affected. In the meantime I also challenge our Congressional Leaders, you know – the ones who are always talking about just how they are “always there for the working people” to put-up or shut-up. Do not let this tragedy occur on your watch.

    1. Imagine though that one of these future Job Corps closures failures might someday be elected President. Currently we have a shining example of the possibility.

      Joking aside, I wish you all well should these closures and transferences occur. And if they don’t, I wish you the best! LR

  28. This is upsetting. I went to collbran job corps where I learned to weld and got my GED. It quite possibly saved my life. My brother also went to job corps and studied culinary arts. I believe job corps is where we both became responsible hard working members of society as they also focus on life skills. Funny thing is our sister is the only one of the three of us to graduate high school and go to college, and she is pretty much lost and worthless. My brother and I use our skills to this day. It’s how we’ve supported our families. So my kids have also benefited from job corps. I don’t know where I would be today had this program not existed. I went in 1998 and I’ve always wished I would have stayed and taken more trades. It’s a terrible idea to close down even one of these amazing centers.

  29. I hate to see the Job Corps close. There are some jobs that makes sense that remain within the federal system. That said, we have a problem in the US. Approximately 0.40 of every dollar spent by the Feds is borrowed. This cannot be maintained. To balance the budget and reduce the debt revenue must be increased, spending reduced, or some combination of the two.

    1. If you want to reduce spending in this country, some trimming of the military fat might be a good place to start. That or government sponsored golf retreats. The Job Corps program is an excellent investment in the underserved youth population. The cost of the program is less than we’ve spent on 2 years of golf and stays and Trump Corporation resorts, and the public actually reaps a benefit from it.

  30. One of the key points this story missed is that 1,100 Forest Service employees, many of them experienced career firefighters, are scheduled to be terminated.

    Do we have a surplus of fire experience?

    This is madness!

  31. Takes me back 30 years or so, first center listed, Angell CCC in Yachats, Oregon will continue under a new contract operator or partnership, but not with the US Forest Service. I used to leave the Waldport RD office every morning, drive 5 miles down the road to the Angell Job Corps center and pick up a crew of “kids” to help me with my TSI (timber stand improvement) projects. They were always willing to work and learn, and I learned a lot from them. Some of them went on to Forest service careers, all of them were valuable and precious to me. These couple years were the best of my life and career. Its a shame that the Forest Service will no longer be connected to their Job Corps Centers.

  32. “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.”
    Who’s writing this propaganda at wildfiretoday? That entire paragraph could be left out. Well- unless you need them to do the thinking for you.

    1. By dictionary definition, you perceive propaganda. Even so, in propaganda can truth lay. Eyes Wide Shut is a pretty good movie but in reality eyes wide shut only leads to more perverse and non-humanitarian decisions by the “world’s greatest power(?)”.

  33. Closing these centers is short sighted in the most sickening way. The people served by them have often had few breaks in life and limited options for their future. I know this because I was one of them. Back in the seventies I was a high school dropout alternating between homelessness and staying with relatives. My employment consisted of busboy jobs and working in gas stations; my parents or anybody else interested in my future were nowhere to be found. That is until an older woman working at the employment office in Portland, OR steered me to the Job Corps. That started a positive chain of events that included a GED, college, eleven seasons in wildland fire (six on hotshot crews), and finally to the fire department career that I am now approaching the end of. I feel blessed to have had a life of helping people and working with others doing the same thing. The Job Corps helped me develop the work ethic needed to achieve anything in this world. I think of that woman in Portland as my personal savior. And I’m sure that I’m not alone.

    Cutting the Job Corps is illustrative of the mean spirited, divided society that we have come to live in. We can do better but we need leaders that care about people more than they care about maintaining privilege.

  34. “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.”

    Delete that paragraph. Such hyperpartisan hyberbole is not needed not wanted in Wildfire Today.

    1. What Bill says is true. If they’re eliminating centers and switching to for profit contractors, where’s the savings, checks and balances? These for profit run facilities and camps at our southern border lack government oversight, and there have been reported issues with them.

    2. Exactly where is the hyperbole, Dave S? What is not true in Bill’s statement? Your response was uncalled for.

  35. I took the welding trade at Wolf Creek JC in Glide Oregon. That was 30 years ago. I did train to fight forest fires. ‘Fight fires aggressively but provide for safety first’ , and all that. I would not be where I am today without Wolf Creek. It was ran by the forestry dept., I went through hell week and earned my place on the Wolf Creek Hot Shots. I also learned a skill that today earns me $96,000 a year. We were not degenerates or dregs of society, most of us were just needing a different path. And I am proud and thankful for the opportunity of a different way.

  36. My son let me know friday morning, and he attends job corp now and it has made him a better person and opened his eyes to push for better… BIG MISTAKE TO CLOSE LET THE FUTURE KIDS EXPERIENCE A BETTER WAY OF LIFE WITH HELP AND GREAT PEOPLE…

  37. My daughter is one of the many being affected by the closure of job Corp. She is not a problem child/last resort kid. We live in a small town without a lot of job opportunities making more than minimum wage. This program was the best thing to happen to my daughter. She is at ends wondering what’s going to happen next….

  38. What an ABSOLUTE SHAME! While touring the Trapper Creek facility in Darby MT, I was never in my life, so impressed by the folks running the programs, the Kids, their attitudes, the programs, and the facility. We will be losing something very special and even more important. I saw 1st hand the program make 180° turnaround in troubled kids. And give already successful young adults an unimaginable boost/head start, in their desired trade,
    A true travesty.
    Another Trump “No Brainer”
    I’m more embarresed by this man, and our Country, every single day.

  39. My son attended Timber Lake Job Corps and came back with a work ethic that’s still with him eight years later. He had only good things to say about the leaders and friends he made. It’s very sad to read that this center is one of nine targeted to close.

  40. I am a current Federal Job Corps employee, I know for a fact contract centers cost twice as much to run as Federal Job Corps do. Yes both types are judged and ranked the same. But, with the new ranking system in place, Federal Job Corps blow away Contract Centers with getting quality jobs and having the students keep the jobs longer (proven by numbers). Federal centers do more with older outdated training equipment than Contract centers could ever do with the new equipment. I myself have proven this with having trade competitions between my Federal center and a Contract center, (we ate there lunch). I have talked with many Contract center instructors and have been told the pay is horrible and without benefits, but management on the other hand makes twice what management makes on the Federal centers (somethings wrong). It’s not just one or three different contracts that run the private job corps, it’s quit a few with different rules for each contract. I have seen good contracts but most I have had to deal with have been poorly run with high employee turnover. The big difference is Federal centers, the employees have to qualify for the jobs (degrees). Anyone qualified or not can run a Contract center because if you don’t work out they just replace you with the next family member.

  41. Total disgrace to close JC or resort to contractors. All boils down to $$. Get human Administration. These are kids who are our future. Plus, whose going to fight our fires. The Administration!
    How terribly sad. TCJC is a vital part of our community

  42. I haven’t read the comments here nor am I going to. What I will say is I am a product of the Job Corps and without it, I wouldn’t have been given all the opportunities in my life that have come with many successes. Without boring anyone with my teenage years of turmoil, Job Corps lent me a safe place to ‘grow up’, earning two certificates in trades, my GED and later my high school diploma. When I graduated, I, not only surpassed the expectations of those in leadership at Job Corps but I surprised myself at what I could do giving the opportunity and guidance. Without Job Corps, I would have taken the wrong road and who knows what might have happened to me. It was a last resort for me and I am forever grateful that Job Corps was there. For several of the friends I made there, it was the same for them. It helped turn our lives around and give us the tools to learn how to work hard, earn a living and be a productive adult. Like an American. God Bless you all.

  43. My son is a student in JC. There is nothing about my son that needs rehabilitated! He went there to better himself! I believe that this is an awesome program!

  44. Is the program successful, or just a “feel good” story that makes people feel like we’re helping troubled youth when we really AREN’T?

    From the WSJ editorial board, April 22, 2018:

    The U.S. economy is desperately short of skilled workers, and the federal government claims it wants to help. Alas, a new report from the Labor Department’s inspector general shows that the $1.7 billion federal Job Corps training program is a flop.

    Launched in 1964, Job Corps works with 16- to 24-year-olds who grew up homeless or poor, passed through foster care, or suffered other hardships. The goal is to equip these young adults with skills for careers in advanced manufacturing, the building trades, health care, information technology, business and more.

    Nearly 50,000 people enrolled in 2017, and 87% lived in Job Corps dorms. In addition to training and housing, the Job Corps provides meals, medical care, books, clothing and supplies, as well as an allowance for child care and living expenses. Such comprehensive support doesn’t come cheap—the taxpayer cost per student last year was $33,990—and the IG suggests that the investment often doesn’t pay off.

    Job Corps’ record-keeping is a hot mess, but in 27 of 50 cases where full employment data existed, graduates were working the same sort of low-wage, low-skill jobs they held before training. One participant completed 347 days of Job Corps carpentry training but five years later worked as a convenience-store clerk for $11,000 a year. Job Corps called this as a successful outcome, so what do failures look like?

    In 2011 the IG found the program matched more than 1,500 students with “jobs that required little or no previous work-related skills, knowledge, or experience, such as fast food cooks and dishwashers that potentially could have been obtained without Job Corps training.” The audit also found Job Corps had placed nearly one in five graduates in jobs that “did not relate or poorly related to the students’ training.”

    The new report suggests that Job Corps’ biggest beneficiaries may be government contractors, not rookie job seekers. Job Corps spent more than $100 million between 2010 and 2011 on transition-service specialists to place students in a job after training.

    But among 324 sampled Job Corps alumni, the IG found evidence that contractors had helped a mere 18 find work. The contractors often claimed credit for success even though they provided no referrals or résumé and interview help. Overall, the IG estimates that Job Corps paid contractors some $70.7 million for transition services they failed to adequately perform.

    For a decade the IG has also raised alarms about Job Corps’ dismal safety record. The worst incident happened in 2015 at the now-shuttered Homestead Job Corps Center in Florida. Five students allegedly murdered 17-year-old classmate Jose Amaya Guardado with a machete, hitting him “until the victim’s face caved in,” a detective recounted.

    Job Corps can’t be judged on one incident. But Deputy Inspector General Larry Turner told Congress last summer that numerous Job Corps centers had “failed to report 40% of potentially serious criminal misconduct incidents” to the police. Some unreported incidents included “physical assault, weapons possession, narcotics possession or sales, and other events that indicates a student was a danger to himself or others.”

    The stronger economy means that businesses are clamoring for workers, and providing workers an opportunity to get the skills to match the openings is crucial. But too many government training programs show poor results, and those shouldn’t have a permanent claim on taxpayer dollars.

    Congress and the Trump Administration should take a hard look at the Job Corps and see if it’s worth the money or merely tricking too many young people with false hope.

    1. The business-oriented Wall Street Journal is controlled by Rupert Murdoch who also owns Fox News, all supporters of the present administration. The article does not mention the 25 Job Corps Centers that are run by USFS employees, not contractors. However, based on the biased editorial in the WSJ, the proposed conversion of USFS-run centers to Department of Labor centers run by contractors, looks like an ill-advised transition.

      1. The article states FACTS. What FACTS that are stated in the article do you dispute? And show your sources, just as the WSJ does.

    2. NMPeter, maybe only 1 in 5 find jobs in there field, like i have said before, Job Corps is not the only social service out there, or can we call it a form of welfare, I believe Job Corps does way more for people than most other forms of welfare we are training these young people, they are forced to learn, they are forced to perform if they don’t follow the rules they are kicked out of the job corps, we can either have these training facilities where we can keep these people in check and have a chance of a few of them getting jobs and contributing to society, or just prepare to provide them all with some other type of welfare like government low income housing, food stamps etc…… if anything we should be cutting back on other forms of welfare and putting into the Job Corps, or creating new programs like them, not just giving people everything for free and letting young people do what ever they want, we have come to a point in history where we have no choice these young people are going to have to be forced to work, and forced to learn

      1. reminds me of the idea of Mr. Cameron… something like… Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that is counted counts. The re-alignment of the young person’s needs, wants and desires cannot necessarily be measured. The values they form while in the presence of their peers and instructors and staff cannot be measured. Wait, do they even count? how does one measure purpose, patience, insight and experience-won knowledge? Intellect is not intelligence. the former can be had without application, the later requires engagement. JC is about engagement.

  45. This has all the signs of being something someone decided to pull the trigger on with absolutely no forethought or planning put into it. Until this announcement many of the Job Corps fire programs were trying to expand capacity by hiring personnel and purchasing equipment (including fire engines). With some of the centers scheduled to be closed the writing was on the wall, falling enrollment numbers, poor graduation rates etc. But the centers that are doing well are also being radically overhauled in one fell swoop and their fire programs being abolished. No attempt to try to look at a program and reinforce success just make the bosses look good by cutting federal employment numbers and reorganizing something rather than do the hard work of finding what works and reinforcing it and cutting what doesn’t.

    A case could be made that a job training program like Job Corps doesn’t really belong in the USDA and that it makes more sense in the department of labor’s portfolio. But the fact that its being implemented so fast that no plan for how its to be done exists and that its going to be all contractors rings alarm bells. The loss of government jobs is a key feature of this, don’t let anyone fool you. It’s just like earlier efforts to make the USDA lease buildings instead of building their own facilities. That resulted in price gauging as there aren’t exactly a lot of appropriate buildings at remote workstations. Saving money was never really the objective. Privatization is. Given this administrations track record I’m inclined to believe the worst and think a private prison contractors are salivating to bid on the job corps contracts. After all who else has experience housing lots of people in a residential program for the government?

    1. You are on to something…I recently found out (from a reliable source) that one of the biggest JC contractors from the old days, MTC, is now a leading contractor for ICE

  46. President is just crazy to shut down such an opportunity for the next generation. His denying youth of today and tomorrow an opportunity of success. I fear for our nation.

  47. These federal operated Job Corps centers are way better than the contract centers, they pay the staff better and the staff have benefits, this means you have a better bunch of employees, I don’t know about you, but i would rather have that guy working nights checking to make sure my daughter, or son is in his bunk at night be a federal employee making a living wage, NOT some x criminal a contractor calls in, more criminal activity goes on at contract centers than government operated, and that’s a fact Jack
    If they want to do away with a social service there are a lot of them out there they should start with first that don’t keep people in check, food stamps, government housing also called section 8, Job Corps keeps the students in check they have to preform while they are attending or there is consequences, we can either provide these young people with training facilities now that are decent and safe or pay for it later when we have to give them other forms of welfare and build more prisons

  48. Being a Current Student at JC’s myself just sucks hearing about this. I have only been there a Month and I already have to leave cause of this. I am a proud Student of Weber Basin Job Corps and even though we are not being shut down or whatever you want to call it, we all have to Transfer to a different Center before September 30. I have built a very strong relationship with everyone there especially with my trade members of Carpentry. The Weber Basin Carpentry trade has been doing the Utah Arts Festival since 1990 and now we need to teach Clearfield JC’s to build the scaffolding that we build every single year so people can hang their beautiful art. This is unbelievable and shouldn’t be happening because thousands of Students from other Centers are losing their future because of this horrible choice. Thousands of relationships and friendships are going to lost including myself. Idk why this was even approved, matter of fact why was this even though of. I hope the Trump administration suffers after this cause they’re just taking futures and throwing them away like we dont matter. Im sorry for all the other Student that have to go through this and we can come together and fight to try and keep these Centers open forever. That’s all i have to say.

  49. Evelyn please send me this info, I would love to see it, but its most likely the same nonsense that i have read, you just misinterpreted it, be careful, don’t be so gullible, nothing is certain yet for any of us federal workers that worked for job corps, I am a trade instructor and my skills are in demand, I will have no problem finding another job making a living wage, I am ready to go, ready to move on, but I am stuck because every thing is uncertain, it will be very hard for the employees that work in the residential living side of the operation, because those kinds of jobs don’t really even exist outside of federal Job Corps system, those employees don’t have any other skills that they can do, many are morbid obese, or have physical limitations and they are looking at being on the street very soon, so be careful with your words unless you can back it up with facts……………….

  50. Wouldn’t have thought I would have lived long enough to witness such an irresponsible action. I have had occasion to maintain contact with former Job Corps graduates for the past 40 years. Without question, this program has continued to demonstrate success in training social and job skills for young men and w0men. It is beyond my understanding to rationalize closures of this program with thousands of long demonstrated and very successful results. Must be a lot of compelling reasons that I am not aware of….. Why on earth would a program with such positive results be scrapped?? Gary Hodges, Former administrator and Center Director at two USDA Forest Service operated civilian conservation centers (Boxelder and Timberlake). It would seem to me that this closure decision should be, without a doubt, further considered. I would be happy to further consult about this very questionable judgement. What a sad mistake!!!!!! Should you wish, you may contact me at: ghodges@peak.org. Please feel free to publish these remarks with my expressed permission. Before signing off, let me express my congratulations to the many thousands of graduates who completed their pursits in this important and successful program! It is beyond my understanding to rationalize any compelling reason/s
    for closure of this successful program. I wonder, should you ask the former graduates opinion regarding this decision how they would respond to this decision? This decision should receive immediate reconsideration without a doubt! If you wish, you may contact me at ghodges@peak.org for further discussion. I would be happy to discuss further.

  51. I was a student at the Schenck CCC and did the Advanced Fire Management trade the Davidson River Initial Attack Type 2 crew. I think the trade is well needed because it opens the door for so many people to learn about something new and after completing the trade it opens so many doors to a lot of job positions.

  52. This is so stupid i am a student at cass job corps it is a wonderful place we love it and know they are uprooting us and moving us to different locations we have made a family at cass and we will fight to the very end no matter what staff and students because cougars never quit they say that job corps has nothing to do with forest service well they are wrong we have the fire crew to prove that we help take care of the forest we are located in we help take care of nature so how does job corps have nothing to do with the forest service no that is just an excuse for trump so he can have more money for that dam wall.

  53. My daughter is currently attending one of the Job Corps slated for closure. She was a troubled youth who quit high school, constantly ran away from home and was headed for real trouble. I was a parent who took her to therapy and was constantly in her life trying to steer her in the right direction. She eventually enrolled in Job Corps and got her High School Diploma and was in the process of completing the CNA program. I am proud of her accomplishments thus far and applaud the staff and community at Oconaluftee Job Corps Center. However, since the closings have been announced, my daughter and several of her classmates at Oconaluftee have decided to just throw in the towel and go back home. This program is a blessing for at risk youth and for those who need training and cannot afford it otherwise. As far as the staff and employees, my heart goes out to them too. This was a good program that helped turn out educated, disciplined and self-sufficient youth.

  54. job corp helps alot of kids… it helps get some kids off the street and do good with their life. my son has wanted to go job corp since he was 15. but he waited to finsh high school and joinin then.. he hasnt been in it for a year yet and has done so much with his life. im very proud mom. but he has found out his center is one thats closing.. he is lost and don’t know what to do.. I vote they need to keep them open..

  55. One of a long line of unreasonable and not well thought-out ideas to privatize education for disadvantage youth, to say nothing of a concretely decent and good part of what our FS does.

    Hope sincerely that there is an uproar from home-state Senators who will not put party above good policy.

  56. I just found these articles about this and am crushed! I’m looking into Job Corps for both of my sons and now I’m worried for the youngests safety if I send him there!
    And btw, sometimes “Last resort” isn’t because the kid’s is some hard case THUG! My oldest is about as straight as they come! No drugs, no partying, refuses alcohol; he’s just having a hard time in the job market. And since we weren’t born with silver spoons in our mouths, can’t bribe him into Harvard!

  57. I am going to say it. Who’s going to fight the current and future fires with direct correlations to climate change? Or are we just going to stay in denial? What will be the costs to privatize fire fighters?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *