The Trump administration announced Friday that it will eliminate a Forest Service program that trains low-income, disadvantaged students in wildland fire fighting and other positions in rural communities, reports The Washington Post.
More than 1,000 people could lose their jobs under the administration’s proposal to close nine Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers (CCCs) — believed to be the largest number of federal job cuts in a decade, according to the Post.
The Labor Department said in a statement that the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service will no longer operate CCCs and that the 16 CCCs not expected to close will continue under a new contract operator or partnership.
The National Federation of Federal Employees, a union representing Forest Service employees, said that the change could result in more than 1,000 layoffs, according to CNN.
“This is a politically motivated attack that oddly enough, offends both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and in communities across the country,” said Randy Erwin, the National President of The National Federation of Federal Employees, a union representing Forest Service employees. “This is a coordinated attack on the most vulnerable populations in the country: Rural and urban low-income young people hoping to succeed in life.”
The Labor Department, however, said that it was “modernizing and reforming part of the Job Corps program.”
“This action creates an opportunity to serve a greater number of students at higher performing centers at a lower cost to taxpayers,” the statement said.