Letter: Butterfield steps up for Job Corps

Jun. 22, 2013 @ 04:35 PM

To the editor:

As the owner of Soul Delicious Restaurant and a longtime North Carolina resident, I understand the value of programs that invest in educating unemployed, at-risk youth. The opportunity Job Corps provides youth to continue their education and obtain job-training skills is a contributing factor in their career success and becoming a part of our community’s local economy.

I am thankful that Congressman G.K. Butterfield understands Job Corps’ importance and took swift action to reverse the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration’s suspension of Job Corps enrollment. Congressman Butterfield’s continued dedication to the Job Corps program and the students, staff and local communities it serves will continue to be essential in the coming months.

Congress will soon make pivotal funding decisions that will undoubtedly affect Job Corps, the number of students Kittrell Job Corps Center will serve and the number of local staff that are employed. The unfortunate reality, however, is without sufficient funding, fewer students will have the opportunity to receive the training they need to become responsible, tax-paying citizens.

Recently, the Office of Inspector General released a report highlighting DOL/ETA’s mismanagement of Job Corps’ funds. Specifically, the report found that the department had “erroneously” projected Job Corps costs that led to funding shortfalls and enrollment freezes, and that the minimum level of operations funds Job Corps needs is $1.633 billion.

However, the administration did not request sufficient funding for fiscal year 2014 and instead proposed to implement deep cuts to our center and centers across the nation.

I hope that in the coming months North Carolina’s Job Corps community and Congressman Butterfield can once again join forces to proactively protect this valuable program and the thousands of people it serves.

Rosa Perry