After Pressure from Cantwell, Trump Administration Relents on Closure of Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers

Cantwell pushed administration to reverse their decision, introduced legislation to protect job centers

Washington, D.C. – The Trump administration has reversed its decision to close nine Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers (CCC) throughout the country – including three in Washington state – and transfer 16 Job Corps centers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). 

The administration’s reversal comes after pressure from U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and a number of lawmakers from across the country. 

"This is great news that the secretary has relented. We need more workers in our forests, not fewer," said Senator Cantwell, a senior member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. 

Earlier this month, Cantwell applied pressure on the administration by introducing bipartisan legislation to prevent the removal of funds from these critical employment programs. In addition, Cantwell joined a bipartisan, bicameral group of senators and representatives pushing the USDA and DOL to reverse their decision to shut down these job centers.  

Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers are located in numerous states across the country. People ages 16-24 are eligible to voluntarily enroll in Job Corps for hands-on job training. Throughout the West, CCCs offer critical wildfire and natural disaster response support. In addition, many businesses partner with local Job Corps to meet their need for high-skilled labor. Washington state has three CCCs: the Fort Simcoe Center on the Yakama Reservation, the Columbia Basin Job Corp Center in Moses Lake, and the Curlew Job Corp Center in Curlew. Altogether, these CCCs employ more than 130 staff. In 2018, 658 students from these three Washington centers provided 119,539 hours of fire support.