The Job Corps student enrollment suspension was lifted in April, ending the three-month long nationwide policy that denied nearly 10,000 students from enrolling in Job Corps centers nationwide and cost nearly 400 people their jobs. The enrollment freeze, which was met with widespread criticism from members of Congress and Job Corps advocates, ended 70 days earlier than planned.
The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) at the Dept. of Labor said the enrollment suspension was necessary because of a budget shortfall of $61.5 million. However, the National Job Corps Association (NJCA) had offered cost-saving reforms recommended over the past two years. Those recommendations, developed at the Dept. of Labor’s request, would not have resulted in decreased student enrollment, staff layoffs or negative local economic impact.
Although Job Corps supporters are pleased with the end of the enrollment suspension, the Dept. of Labor still plans to reduce student enrollment by 20 percent, limiting the number of students the program will serve every year.