Tester Keeps Pressure on Department of Labor to Reopen Montana Job Corps to In-Person Activities
Senator has pushed for months to reopen Montana’s two Job Corps centers
In the midst of a statewide labor shortage, and as a part of his continued effort to reopen Montana Job Corps to in-person activities, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today again urged the Department of Labor to resume in-person activities and provide hundreds of young Montanans with hands-on job training opportunities.
“I write today to continue to urge you to reopen Montana Job Corps Centers for in-person learning,” wrote Tester in a letter to Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor Suzan LeVine. “…While I appreciate your efforts to create virtual options during the pandemic, these options are not an appropriate learning environment for many of the skills taught in Job Corps centers and many participants do not have reliable access to internet and the required technology. If we have the mitigation strategies to keep K-12 students and military personnel safe, we can certainly mitigate COVID risks in Montana’s Job Corp centers.”
Montana’s two Job Corps Civilian Conservation Corps Centers in Anaconda and Darby provide hands-on job training programs to hundreds of Montanans and have been closed for in-person activities through the COVID-19 pandemic.
In July, Tester sent a letter to the Department of Labor requesting that the Department reconsider current federal guidance that restricts in-person enrollment at the Trapper Creek and Anaconda Job Corps centers. In May, Tester sent a letter to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack encouraging them to move forward in reopening Montana’s centers.
Tester has been Montana’s leading champion for defending the Trapper Creek and Anaconda Job Corps centers. In 2019, when the Trump Administration attempted to close or privatize the centers, Tester led the fight to reverse the decision. After sustained pressure from Tester, the Administration caved and kept the centers open, and he pushed legislation through Congress and into law to protect the centers moving forward.
Job Corps Civilian Conservation Corps Centers operate in 17 national forests and grasslands across 16 states – including Montana – and train over 4,000 young adults a year, many of whom are at-risk youth from low-income, rural communities, providing critical skills to help them succeed in a 21st century economy.
Read Tester’s full letter to Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary LeVine HERE.