Following Administration’s Job Corps Reversal, Tester Visits Anaconda Center

Tester: I’ll fight to make sure Anaconda Job Corps is around for generations to come

(Anaconda, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester visited the Anaconda Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center on Tuesday, following the recent announcement that-after significant pushback from Tester and other members of Congress-the Administration is reversing its reckless, short-sighted decision to close or privatize all 25 Forest Service-run Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers.

Tester spoke to students and staff about the importance of Job Corps programs in Montana and answered questions from the audience.

“Closing down these Job Corps centers was a bad idea from the start and being here today reinforces just how important these programs are to our communities,” Tester said. “I’m glad we were able to save these critical job training programs here in Montana and across the country, and as we move forward I hope the Administration will think twice about the consequences of their decisions for rural America.”

On May 24, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) put forth a proposal to either close or privatize all 25 Forest Service-run Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers (CCCs), which operate in 17 national forests and grasslands across 16 states and train over 4,000 young adults a year. The proposal would have closed nine of these CCCs-including one in Anaconda-while transferring ownership of the other 16-including Trapper Creek in Darby.

Within hours of the announcement, Tester fired off a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta condemning the decision and vowing to take action. On May 30, he held a press call with Mike Robbins, a Butte native and co-owner of Montana Precision Products, and Zoe Hough, a 2018 Anaconda Job Corps graduate, who gave personal accounts about the importance of these programs.

A few days later, Tester took to the Senate Floor to demand action and introduce legislation to stop the proposal and prevent these critical job training centers from being subject to the whims of the President. He doubled down on these efforts a few weeks later by pushing to attach his Job Corps legislation as an amendment to the Senate’s must-pass annual defense bill. The Administration reversed its proposal shortly thereafter.