CLEARFIELD – The federal budget-cutting axe could cut sharply at the Clearfield Job Corps Center.
From the Clearfield City Council to Rep. Rob Bishop’s office in the nation’s capitol, efforts are underway to blunt that strike.
Proposed cuts by the U.S. Department of Labor could trim about half the center’s 1,100 student enrollment. Staffers, many of whomcome from throughout Davis County, could also see cuts.
The facility is managed for the Department of Labor by Management Training Corporation in Centerville.
Tuesday night, the Clearfield City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of keeping the Clearfield center, one of the nation’s largest, at full capacity.
The resolution is being forwarded to Utah’s Washington congressional delegation, Mayor Don Wood said.He has had discussions with both Bishop’s and Sen. Orrin Hatch’s office, the mayor said.
“They’ve been very supportive and are trying to minimize the impact,” Wood said.
He said such efforts are eyeing ways to maximize the way the school helps students and also minimize loss of jobs for staff and other economic indicators.
“Many of them (students) are economically disadvantaged,” Wood said. “This, for some of them, is the most viable way to be able to get marketable skills, provide for themselves and their families in the future. That’s what concerns me the most.”
He pointed to the city’s concerted effort to land jobs, particularly in manufacturing.
Any taxpayer savings from making the cuts could be thwarted if potential students and their families end up on welfare rolls. It could even become a generational problem.
The Management Training Corporation, which operates 18 Job Corps centers across the country, has sent cost-savings proposals to the federal government, said Issa Arnita, communications director.
The training corporation hopes that the labor department will make cuts “that don’t impact students and staff.”
The 535 student slots that would be lost represent nearly half of enrollment.
“That’s bad news for the staff and the community.,” Arnita said.
Discussion is centering on ways to shift funds that have been allocated but not spent, Arnita said.
Up to $60 million could be cut from Job Corps programs under the federal proposal, Arnita said.
Meanwhile, Bishop “is monitoring this matter very closely.
He is encouraging (the department of labor) to explore other ways to address cost issues,” a spokeswoman said.
The congressman spearheaded a letter late last week to the Secretary of Labor that asks the agency to reconsider a plan to temporarily cut nearly 3,200 student slots at seven Job Corps centers nationwide through June 30.
“This move would have severe and adverse consequences on the at-risk youth Job Corps serves,” the letter said.