AP NEWS

Montana delegation protests Job Corps center closure

May 27, 2019

ANACONDA, Mont. (AP) — Montana’s congressional delegation is protesting the planned closure of an Anaconda Job Corps center by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The Montana Standard reports that the Anaconda Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center will close in August. The center opened in 1966 and provides training in manufacturing, mechanics, carpentry and other disciplines.

The department announced on Friday it plans to close nine centers across the country “to serve a greater number of students at higher performing centers at a lower cost to taxpayers,” according to a statement.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte urged Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to reconsider the decision.

“Make no mistake, this decision will lead to an immediate loss of jobs in rural America and undermine economic development in communities like Anaconda moving forward,” Tester said.

Daines and Gianforte sent a letter to Acosta urging him to keep the Anaconda center open “or provide suitable and equivalent alternatives” for students now attending the center.

Bill Everett, the center’s CEO, said it’s one of Anaconda’s biggest employers and keeps many youth out of trouble by providing them with vital job skills and employment opportunities.

Montana Precision Products, a Butte aerospace parts manufacturer, International Truck Body Co. and Anaconda Foundry Fabrication Co. routinely employ training center students, said Jim Davidson, executive director of the Anaconda Local Development Corp.

The Trapper Creek Civilian Conservation Center in Darby is expected to remain open, making it the only Job Corps center to keep operating in Montana.

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Information from: The Montana Standard, http://www.mtstandard.com

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