Advocates help save local education program
Timber Lake Job Corps, a no-cost education and career technical training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and located in Estacada, was facing closure Sept. 1, along with job corps programs across the nation. But Sen. Jeff Merkley announced Thursday that the Trump administration will back down from their plan to close the sites.
Cheryl Renton, the youth transition coordinator for Molalla River School District, had been working to spread the word in hopes of saving the local program that she feels does so much good.
According to Renton, the federal government was cutting back and eliminating one Civilian Conservation Center Job Corps program in each state. Unfortunately, in Oregon, Timber Lake was put on the chopping block.
She and other advocates encouraged supporters to contact local representatives Merkley and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden.
Apparently, it worked.
"Job Corps programs strengthen communities and refocus youth by providing essential job skills," said Clackamas County Commissioner Ken Humberston. "These are exactly the types of programs that deserve to be protected, and I'm proud of our delegation for fighting for Timber Lake."
The Chief Stewart at Timber Lake, Brian Hickman, offered thanks to Merkley for his efforts.
"Senator Merkley's leadership was critical in latest fight to keep the CCCs open," Hickman said. "He has been a stalwart defender of the CCCs for years in Oregon and across the nation. Our staff, the students and the vendors and communities that rely on the CCCs as a local economic engine owe Senator Merkley an enormous amount of gratitude."
Timber Lake has been a helpful resource for Molalla's youth to either complete their high school education and/or complete vocational training, according to Renton, and they choose Timber Lake because of its close proximity to home.
"These youth return to the Molalla area as productive members of our community with valuable job skills," Renton said.
To find out more about Timber Lake, visit timberlake.jobcorps.gov.
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