Tester Rallies Senate on Bill to Protect Anaconda and Trapper Creek Job Corps
Trump Administration has provided no assurances either Montana center will be removed from chopping block
(U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester today rallied Republican and Democratic Senators to support his bill to protect the Anaconda and Trapper Creek Job Corps from closure or privatization.
Tester is partnering with Republican Senator John Boozman of Arkansas on a bill to guarantee that the Trump Administration cannot act unilaterally to close the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers that successfully develop high skilled workers in Montana and across the country. Tester took to the Senate floor to urge others to join his efforts.
"This Administration, through their goal of making America great again, has forgotten about the things that make America great and have made America great," Tester said on the Senate floor. "Whether it is the businesses who rely on Job Corps or the students who graduate, we need everyone in this chamber, Republicans and Democrats, to make sure that we have Job Corps around for our next generation and the generations after."
With rumors that President Trump may reverse his previous decision and keep Job Corps centers open in some capacity, Tester outlined his legislation to ban the closure of Civilian Conservation Centers in Montana and across the country, preventing these critical employment centers from being subject to the whims of the President. Tester has not received any assurance from the Trump Administration that either the Anaconda or Trapper Creek Job Corps will be removed from the chopping block or threat of privatization.
Tester's bipartisan bill will specifically block the Trump Administration from using government funds in 2019 or 2020 to close any Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers in the United States. The bill will also prohibit any federal government agency from making changes to agreements that operate Job Corps facilities--preventing them from being privatized.
As USDA was preparing its announcement on May 24, Tester urged the agency to reverse its decision and sent a letter to both USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta condemning the decision and vowing to act.
He doubled down on those efforts on a press call last week with Mike Robbins, a Butte native and co-owner of Montana Precision Products, which hires Job Corps graduates each year to fill the growing demand for skilled labor in the state, as well as Zoe Hough, a 2018 Anaconda Job Corps graduate.
Tester has also launched a portal on his website to encourage employers and workers who have utilized these Job Corps programs to share their story, and join the fight to save these successful job training initiatives.