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Monday, 17 July 2017 07:26

Job Corps program hit on student safety problems, despite successes

Written by  Joe Davidson | Columnist
Students build a structure in a carpentry class at the Potomac Job Corps in Washington in 2014. (Jeffrey MacMillan for The Washington Post)

Job Corps is the nation’s largest residential training and employment program, but some of the 50,000 young people it serves annually are looking for something even more fundamental than a good gig.

Safety.

“Our students regularly tell us stories about how they enrolled in Job Corps to escape gangs, an unstable home life or an unsafe community that made it impossible to pursue their education and career goals,” Jeffrey Barton, director of the Earle C. Clements Job Corps Academy in Morganfield, Ky., said at a recent House hearing.

But with two homicides at training centers in 2015, the Job Corps’s record for providing a safe environment has taken a shot. That reputation wasn’t helped by the testimony of Larry D. Turner, the Labor Department’s deputy inspector general, at the House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing.

And that bad rap, despite all the good Job Corps does training a largely disadvantaged group of 16- to 24-year-olds, leaves the program vulnerable to President Trump’s proposed budget cuts.

Even after a series of reports on Job Corps student safety, Turner said the agency continues to fall short in three areas:

“Not reporting potentially serious criminal misconduct to law enforcement” Read more at WashingtonPost

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