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Congress of the United States Wiashington, BE 20510 May 28, 2019 ‘The Honorable Alexander Acosta Secretary of Labor US, Department of Labor 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W. ‘Washington, D.C. 20210 The Honorable Sonny Perdue Secretary of Agriculture U.S. Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, D.C. 20250 Dear Secretary Acosta and Secretary Perdue: ‘We write today in response to the recent announcement by the Department of Labor (DOL) and. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that nine out of 25 Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers (JCCCC) are scheduled to close as part of a transfer of the program from USDA to DOL. Closing these facilities will negatively affect the communities they serve, most of which are low-income urban and rural areas. We are especially concerned that DOL plans to close the Flatwoods facility in Coeburn, Virginia. Flatwoods employs dozens of individuals in the community and serves a large number of students each year. This facility provides young adults in the region with the educational, social, and vocational skills needed to find quality employment, while also aiding in the conservation of the George Washington-Jefferson National Forest. The Flatwoods center provides a nearly $6 million economic impact to the local community, an area that has faced significant economic hardship as coal production has declined in recent years. Closing this facility in the heart of Southwest Virginia is a concerning decision that will lead to fewer opportunities for our constituents who depend on this center for employment and skills training. The stated mission of the JCCCCs is to train young adults, ages 16 to 24, with educational, social, and vocational skills, while assisting in the conservation of the nation’s limited public natural resources. These facilities equip young adults with the skills needed to compete and excel in an ever-changing workplace. The centers offer vocational training programs for more than 30 ‘occupations that help students prepare to succeed in a 21* century workforce. These students are also trained by Forest Service staff to assist during national emergencies, including wildfires, hhurricanes, tornados, and floods. Shuttering nine JCCCCs across eight states will undoubtedly harm the communities that rely on these centers to educate and train the next generation of skilled workers in their areas. As members who understand the importance of JCCCCs for rural comm Virginia, we urge you to reconsider your proposal to close these nine facilities, including the Flatwoods center. We are deeply concerned that this reorganization and proposed closures will lead to the loss of 1,100 dedicated Forest Service employees who work at JCCCCs across the country. The invaluable employment and educational opportunities provided by these facilities will not be easy to replace in these communities. Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to your prompt response. Sincerely, —7 Mok © Mune, Jive]: MARK R. WARNER TIM KAINE United States Senator United States Senator M Member of Congress