Union pushes back against plan to downsize Forest Service program
- By FederalSoup Staff
- Jun 04, 2019
A major fed employee union is pushing back against a cabinet-level decision to wind down a Job Corps program.
The plan calls for shutting down at least nine Forest Service Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers—and placing the remaining 15 under the Department of Labor, to be managed by private contractors, not federal employees. The two departments aim to accomplish the changes by Sept. 30.
The Job Corps-CCC program employees over 1100 feds and recruits thousands of at-risk young people every year, from all over the country, to work on conservation and firefighting projects.
The Forest Service falls under the Department of Agriculture, whose leadership announced the plan.
The American Federation of Government Employees union is slamming the plan.
The proposal is “underhanded and misguided and will hurt hard-pressed rural communities,” the union said in a release.
"We’ve seen this time and time again,” J. David Cox, AFGE president, said. “The administration wants to fire unionized federal employees and contract out their jobs to for-profit companies.”
“The federal Job Corps program has provided education and training for disadvantaged and at-risk youth in some of the nation’s most underserved rural communities for more than 50 years,” Cox noted. Program participants have provided substantial assistance to many localities after numerous natural disasters—for example, in Hurricane Harvey.
Bipartisan support for maintaining the program remains, the union noted, in its call to stop the administration’s plan.