An article on the RepublicanHerald.com has reported the U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is looking into a financial shortfall at the federal Department of Labor Job Corps that has caused an enrollment freeze.
According to the article, the Job Corps program provides job training and counseling for at-risk teens and young adults who face challenges ranging from a skills gap to homelessness. The program was started in the 1960s and has served about 100,000 clients a year. There are 4 locations in Pennsylvania, including an office near Hazleton.
Due to significant cost overruns, a Department of Labor spokesman said they had to reduce costs, including marketing, student stipends, and data center contracts. But that was not enough and the decision was made to suspend enrollment. The half-year enrollment freeze means the loss of 450 jobs and the denial of enrollment to as many as 900 potential students.
In the article, Casey said the program is valuable and produces good results for the individuals involved as well as the economy. He is calling for the inspector general to review the program.