Forest Service Job Corps Decision Predictably Reversed

Thanks to NAFSR for these two links, Politico and the WaPo.

The Trump administration, under heavy pressure from Congress, will withdraw plans to end a U.S. Forest Service program that trains underprivileged youth, spokespersons for the Agriculture and Labor departments told POLITICO.

The Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers, a program within the Job Corps, trains low-income young people to to become first responders to natural disasters, to work on rural infrastructure projects and to maintain national forests. The administration’s reversal on its shuttering the centers comes after significant pushback from lawmakers of both parties — including Senate Majority LeaderMitch McConnell — and also from the union that represents USDA Forest Service employees.

“For the time being, USDA does not intend to transfer these centers to DOL to allow management to determine a pathway that will maximize opportunity and results for students, minimize disruptions, and improve overall performance and integrity,” the USDA and DOL spokespersons said in an emailed statement. “DOL and USDA will conduct a robust organizational review to determine the appropriate course of action keeping in mind the [Forest Service] mission, the students we serve, and the American taxpayers.”

DOL announced in May that it accepted Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue’s decision to pull out of the Job Corps program. Perdue stated in a letter to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta that the Forest Service had to step away from activities that were not essential to its core mission to improve “the condition and resilience” of America’s forests.

The decision was sudden; Forest Service Vicki Christansen told employees she had learned of the plan only four days prior. And members of Congress said they weren’t consulted or notified.

Now I am probably one of the least political people on the planet, but any Trump administration effort would get pushback from D’s almost by definition, so it seems like they would check if they had any R’s with them before they launched this effort. Unless, of course, the effort, not the outcome, was some true goal (as in, “we tried but what could we do (shrug)?)”. I’d like to get the inside story on this apparent extreme political ham-handedness if anyone knows anything…

4 thoughts on “Forest Service Job Corps Decision Predictably Reversed”

  1. I have to say I’m always a little amused by your seemingly nonchalant attitude about crazy things the Trump administration proposes. Is that perhaps a sign of white privilege? Or, not to get too personal here, is it perhaps a result of being out of the workforce, retired and having a nice government, taxpayer-supported pension?

    Apparently we all should have a crystal ball and the American public should be able to know when, or when not, to take something President Trump, or members of his administration, say or do at their word.

    So how would that apply to this situation Sharon? Is this a case of “extreme political ham-handedness?” Or it is perhaps more than that?

    “WASHINGTON — The Senate voted to block the sale of billions of dollars of munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, in a sharp and bipartisan rebuke of the Trump administration’s attempt to circumvent Congress to allow the exports by declaring an emergency over Iran.”

  2. Do you Work Matt? You seem to just be a full time internet troll. What does wild west institute actually do? I can’t believe people would donate there hard earned money to support this kind of garbage.

    • Howdy BrianP: I could care less what you think. But yes, I work. In fact, I have four jobs that I pay taxes on, so thanks for your concern. Do you work?

      And by the way, specific to the USDA/USFS Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers, according to the official information:

      “Forest Service Job Corps is a program of opportunity. The majority of its students come from low-income communities, both urban and rural, who are seeking pathways to prosperity.”

      Part of my comment to Sharon, and calling out her nonchalant attitude about this specific situation, was the fact that I tried to put myself in the shoes of the prospective Job Corps students and families. The past month or so had to of been filled with a bunch of anxiety and fear about what might happen to their opportunity. These are young people and families that looked to the USDA/USFS Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers as a “pathway to prosperity” and I can only imagine how many sleepless nights these folks had.

  3. Perhaps, if this venture was to be successful, the Secretaries of both departments would have employed staff to do some sensing with the communities that had JCCs in them and hear feedback on the benefits and consequences of this idea. But alas, we have political appointees that are trying to do what they can in the short amount of time they have and if it means that no one is consulted (internally and externally), so be it…’we can handle the blowback (if there is any)’. It is always satisfying to have a government operate without citizen input…not.


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