EXETER—Council members discussed the weakening of a valuable community program, the Exeter Job Corps Center, which faces an enrollment freeze, designated by the federal Department of Labor on Jan. 18.
The Job Corps has 125 centers nationwide which offer youth a unique opportunity to learn valuable skills for careers and trades they may pursue into their adult lives.
Councilman Calvin A. Ellis drafted a letter for the town council to send to Seth D. Harris, Acting Secretary at the U.S. Department of Labor, urging a stop to the planned new student enrollment freeze, which began on Jan. 28 and could run through the end of the program year on June 30.
“If [the freeze] remains in effect, the impact will be quite devastating,” said Ellis. “No new students will come in and some of the program’s current students and staff will have to go.”
“There have been other freezes that have lapsed in 20 or 30 days in the past, but none this drastic,” he added.
Congressman James Langevin have also sent similar letters to the Department of Labor, expressing concerns regarding shortfalls in Job Corps’ operations budget that have prompted savings through the enrollment freeze. Reed’s letter states that in 2011, Job Corps had a shortfall of $39 million that was seemingly addressed, but financial problems continued into 2012.
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