UPDATE: This story has been updated, adding comments from Senator Jon Tester and Governor Steve Bullock.
Republican Senator Steve Daines says President Trump will overturn the closure of the Anaconda Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center.
"There were literally some tears shed and cheering. This is some great news for Anaconda and Anaconda needs good news," Daines said on a press call Monday.
The announcement comes after a May 24 federal decision to close nine Job Corps sites across the country. Forest Service Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers train at-risk youth from across the country in trade skills and provide valuable community service like wildfire response.
The other 16 Forest Service Job Corps sites - including one in Darby - will be transferred from Forest Service to Department of Labor oversight or management by private contractors, according to the labor department’s release last month.
Daines says the Anaconda Job Corps will remain under Department of Agriculture management. But he could only comment on the fate of that Job Corps - not the 24 others with uncertain futures.
Democratic Senator Jon Tester says he still plans to push a bill he wrote to ban the closure of Civilian Conservation Centers in Montana and across the country, preventing what he calls the critical employment centers from being subject “to the whims of the President.”
Tester says he’s going to “continue to fight until we get a firm promise from this Administration that these Job Corps centers are truly safe.”
In a statement released late Monday, Montana’s Democratic Governor Steve Bullock praised the development but added he hopes the Anaconda and Trapper Creek Job Corps will not eventually be privatized. Bullock said, "they are integral to the workforce needs of rural America and the jobs should remain in the agencies and with the people who have a track record of proven success.”
The Anaconda Job Corps serves about 350 students a year, and employs about 70 staff.