WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Communities in Oregon and Across the Nation Celebrate Saving CCCs from Closure

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following Sen. Merkley’s announcement yesterday that the Trump administration will back down from their plan to close Civilian Conservation Center (CCC) Job Corps sites, leaders from communities in Oregon and across the nation are celebrating the good news.

Here’s what they’re saying:

“One of the greatest obstacles facing efforts to restore forests and reduce the risk of fire to homes and communities is developing a skilled workforce. CCC programs have demonstrated that young people are willing and able to stand up to the challenge of learning the skills and developing the temperament to engage in this critical forestry work. The successes of this program are spread across our forested landscapes. We can be thankful Senator Merkley and others have worked to maintain this program. We can also be thankful that future generations of workers are continuing to hone their skills.” – George McKinley, Family Forest Owner in Southwest Oregon

“The National Job Corps Association is extremely pleased to see USDA and DOL reverse their misguided decision to terminate the U.S. Forest Service Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center (CCC) program.  We are extraordinarily grateful to Sen. Merkley for his tremendous leadership on this issue and the outsized role he played in protecting Angell, Timber Lake, Wolf Creek and all the Job Corps CCCs.  The efforts of Sen. Merkley and his colleagues ensure not only that hundreds of young adults in Oregon, and thousands more across the country, will continue to receive Job Corps’ comprehensive education and training services but also that Oregon will continue to benefit from skilled Job Corps firefighters and first responders helping to protect our rural communities.” – Brendan O’Hara, Acting Executive Director, National Job Corps Association

“I can’t tell you how much all of us locally appreciate the tireless effort that Senator Merkley has gone to in educating the Director of the Dept. of Agriculture in the incredible value that our Job Corps Centers provide to the communities they are in. Here in Yachats, the loss of our Angell Job Corps would have been deeply felt in this community, as they have been an integral part of this community for years. Thank you so much for all your efforts on their behalf.” – W. John Moore, Mayor, City of Yachats

“The Departments of Labor and Agriculture made the right decision in choosing not to close or transfer management of the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers. We thank Sen. Merkley and other members of Congress who recognize the importance of the Job Corps CCC program to rural communities and low-income families. We offer our support to help improve the program and make it even more impactful; a stronger Job Corps CCC program translates into strong local economies and bright futures for our rural youth.” – Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network

“UCC is thankful to hear the good news about Job Corps and is proud to continue our longstanding partnership with Wolf Creek, changing lives and building brighter  futures.” – Debra Thatcher, Umpqua Community College President

“Senator Merkley’s leadership was critical in latest fight to keep the CCC’s open.  He has been a stalwart defender of the CCC’s for years in Oregon and across the nation.  Our staff, the students, and the vendors and communities that rely on the CCC’s as a local economic engine owe Senator Merkley an enormous amount of gratitude.”  – Brian Hickman, Chief Stewart, NFFE Local 1697, Timber Lake CCC, Estacada OR

“Angell Job Corps makes a difference in young peoples’ lives across our communities. I’m proud of Senator Merkley’s efforts at the Federal level to save these vital Centers.” – Oregon State Representative David Gomberg, Oregon House District 10

“Nearly a month ago, we were shocked to hear that the CCC’s were targeted for closure without any justification or reason.  This bizarre, misguided decision caused a tremendous amount of grief for thousands of working families and students.  We are very fortunate to have Senator Merkley on our side.  Without his quick work, we wouldn’t be here much longer.” – Shawn Patterson, GVP Forest Service Counsel, NFFE Local 1697, Glide OR

“The Yachats City Council was happy to announce in its meeting last night that our Senator Jeff Merkley saved our Angell Job Corps!  The council expresses our deep gratitude to Senator Merkley for single handedly taking on the impossible fight to save Angell Job Corps and the other twenty five Forest Service programs. Getting the Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue to reverse his ill-advised decision could only be done by someone with Jeff’s passion, wisdom and ability to immediately mobilize a bi-partisan response. Hundreds of students needing this program, forty-five employed staff families and our entire community are deeply grateful for Jeff’s successful leadership in the fight to save our Angell Job Corps!” –Max Glenn, Yachats City Councilor and President of Angell Job Corps Communications Board

“The Job Corps Centers we have in Oregon provide young people with an opportunity to turn their lives around, and learn a trade that will provide them sustaining jobs with good wages, healthcare and pensions. I appreciate Senator Merkley’s hard work protecting the Job Corps program and making sure more young people will have a chance to get the skills they need to have a successful career.” – Matt Eleazer, President Local 1 Oregon, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers.

“Job Corps programs strengthen communities and refocus youth by providing essential job skills. These are exactly the types of programs that deserve to be protected, and I’m proud of our delegation for fighting for Timber Lake.” – Clackamas County Commissioner Ken Humberston

“Because of the community and Senator Merkley’s office, Angell Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center will stay open. This means Angell will be able to continue to educate and train low Income disadvantaged youth to become viable tax payers.  Angell Civilian Conservation Center (Job Corps Program), has been providing critical job training and education for disadvantaged youth since 1964. Students also learn skills that assist their communities. Students can volunteer to learn firefighting skills/camp crew skills to help combat an ever increasing need for wildland fire fighters. Students also volunteer thousands of hours to improve the local community (Habitat for Humanity, Amanda Trail, Ports of Toledo, Newport and Alsea, nonprofit organizations in the community such as Homes For Hounds, blood drives, tutoring, highway and beach cleanups, homeless veterans, food shelter, Lyons Club, Chamber of Commerce, local Parks & Rec, and many others) which in turn fosters a giving-back attitude. Yet others use their skills to join the military and fight for our freedom. While some go on to do great things in life, thanks to the training program, leadership development, confidence, social skills and education that they received while enrolled in Angell Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center. We thank you for your continued support.

“These students need us and our country needs them to be trained, educated and ready to serve, in whatever capacity is needed. Our students go out to living-wage careers and pay back their scholarships through taxes and lifetimes of volunteerism in their communities.” Cynthia Bruce, NFFE Local 1697, Angell Job Corps CCC, Yachats, OR

“We owe Senator Wyden and Merkley a great deal of gratitude for stepping up and ensuring the Timber Lake program can continue building up the youth in our communities. The community support raised by Estacada Mayor Drinkwine and his wife Mary Whitney ensured our delegation had the backing they needed to be successful in Washington D.C. ” – Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard

 “Job Corps is a no-cost education and career technical training program that teaches eligible young people the skills they need to become employable and independent, as well as place them in meaningful jobs or further education.  As a lifelong educator—a former teacher and principal at Marshfield High School, I am deeply appreciative of the tireless work our Congressional leaders have done in sustaining this critical important program in rural Oregon.” – Oregon State Senator Arnie Roblan, Oregon Senate District 5