Montana Public Radio

Labor Department Closing Anaconda Job Corps Training Center

May 24, 2019

Anaconda’s Job Corps training center is closing, the U.S. Department of Labor announced today.

All three members of Montana’s congressional delegation responded by asking the agency to reverse the decision, but in sharply contrasting ways.

In a letter to the U.S. secretaries of Commerce and Agriculture, Democratic Sen. Jon Tester called the decision, "irresponsible" and "offensive." Tester said it is, "unbelievable" that the secretaries would claim to support rural economic development while closing down the facility, which he said has “a proven track record of success.”

Republicans Steve Daines and Greg Gianforte sent a joint letter to the Commerce secretary, saying they appreciate the Labor department’s effort to better align the Anaconda facility’s organizational structure with the department’s mission, but the two, "have concerns" about it’s closure. The pair urged Labor to, "maintain [the facility’s] operating status or provide suitable and equivalent alternatives," for the students it serves.

The Anaconda Civilian Conservation Center is one of nine nationwide that’s being closed, according to a Department of Labor press release.