Congressional Support & Advocacy
Quick Access Menu
Safety & Security
Nothing is more important to the Job Corps community than the safety and security of the tens of thousands of students placed in our care. The Job Corps program was built upon the idea of giving young people a safe and stable place to live, learn, and develop themselves.
Data shows that Job Corps students are safer on Job Corps campuses than their peers in their home communities and those that are on college campuses. Students on a Job Corps campus are far less likely to be victims of violence, involved in substance abuse, or victims of sexual assault than their peers. Job Corps students are far safer on a Job Corps campus than they would otherwise be.
The safety of our students is paramount and Job Corps youth service providers strive to ensure every student feels, and is, safe and healthy. As part of these efforts, the NJCA has continuously advocated for strategies to improve and enhance the safety and security of the Job Corps learning environment. This includes:
- Addressing the more than $700 million backlog in Job Corps campus infrastructure projects to reduce facility deficiencies;
- Ensuring Job Corps campuses have the necessary staffing, not just instructors, but also counselors, residential advisors, and wellness staff;
- Expanding behavioral health and counseling resources; and
- Promoting the use of evidence-based strategies such as positive behavioral interventions and supports, cognitive behavioral therapy, and trauma-informed care.
Through its advocacy and professional development offerings, the NJCA continues to work with our partners at the U.S. Department of Labor, policymakers on Capitol Hill, Job Corps youth service providers, and Job Corps students themselves to ensure that Job Corps continues to provide the safest and most supportive living and learning environment possible for opportunity youth.
FY 2021 APPROPRIATIONS: JOB CORPS RECEIVES $12M INCREASE!
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 appropriations process is proceeding as normal given these unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee began its consideration of their FY 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill, which includes funding for the Job Corps program. On July 7, 2020, the House Labor-HHS Subcommittee marked up its annual funding bill. NJCA is pleased to report that Job Corps received $120 million for the construction, rehabilitation and acquisition account, which is a $12 million increase over the FY 2020 enacted funding level ($108 million). This increase came despite a very limited pool of additional funds that were available. Job Corps received level funding for the operations account ($1.6 billion) and the administration account ($32 million).
The statutory language protecting the Forest Service Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers from arbitrary closures was carried over from the FY 2020 bill. NJCA also worked directly with the House Appropriations Committee to include three specific priority policy issues for our membership in the committee report: Job Corps marketing and slot utilization, industry-standard training, and performance-based contracting. The House Appropriations Committee’s full committee markup is expected this week and floor votes are scheduled for later this month during the weeks of July 20, 2020 and July 27, 2020. The order of the bills to be considered is still being determined, so it is not clear when the House Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill will be considered in the lineup.
While the Senate was expected to begin its FY 2021 appropriations process in late June, the consideration of the funding bills is on hold indefinitely due to policy disagreements on several issues, including but not limited to COVID-19 and social justice reform policies. At this time, it is unclear when the Senate appropriations process will begin, but it is not likely to occur before September at the earliest.
Given the limited number of legislative days between now and the end of the fiscal year, it is unlikely that Congress can complete the FY 2021 appropriations process by the end of September 2020 and will have to pass a continuing resolution for some time after the elections in November 2020. The outcome of the November elections will also likely have an impact on the overall funding levels for the FY 2021 appropriations bills. It is expected that the Congress will likely have to consider either an omnibus appropriations bill in late November or December 2020.
NJCA will continue to work with the congressional leadership and the Appropriations Committees to ensure the funding and policy priorities for the Job Corps program are achieved in FY 2021.