Job Corps Facing Budget Cuts

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. recently passed legislation that seeks to cut the federal budget by more than 60 billion dollars. Close to one billion would come out of the funding for the Job Corps program.

"I was very disappointed to hear about that," said Samantha Blackman, a student at the Brooklyn Job Corps Academy.

For 45 years high school dropouts across the country have had the Job Corps to turn to for a second chance at a better life.

The Job Corps provides vocational training for careers in fields such as healthcare, security and computer technology.

60-thousands students a year come through the program.

The budget cut now threatens to close 85 of 124 Job Corps centers.

"I don't know where I would be right now without the Job Corps," said Philip Reid, a recent graduate of the center in Brooklyn , who is now working as an Emergency Medical Technician.

"Job Corps doesn't pay very much.  Those of us who work here do it because of the young people who need our help," said Olinda Marin, director of the Brooklyn center.

In an effort to keep that help coming, Democrats in the House are pushing to restore the funding to the budget.

"Just cutting the budget is wild rhetoric without looking at what you should cut or not cut, and the Job Corps should not be cut," said U.S. Representative Edolphus Towns of Brooklyn.

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