Federal officials are planning to shut down the Blackwell Job Corps center in Forest County by the end of the year.
The move could put over 50 people out of a job, and pull $5 million a year from the area. Forest County Economic Development director Mark Ferris tells Newswatch 12 that’s going to be a major blow.
“Family sustaining incomes. A big hit on our local economy.”
The facility helps train kids in skills and trades and has been in operation since the 60s. A recent shuffle of the civilian conservation center program put it in control of the Department of Labor, which is closing several of the sites. Ferris say that local officials were not notified before the decision.
“There was nothing, and we have yet to receive any formal notification. And that’s really bothersome.”
Federal officials say the cuts allow the US Forest Service to “step away from programs that are not essential to our core mission.”