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Department of Labor lifts freeze on new Job Corps enrollment

A nationwide Job Corps enrollment freeze that was to last until summer was lifted Monday after congressional officials urged the Department of Labor to reconsider the move.

The Department announced in January that it would stop accepting new students for the program until June 30, citing federal budget cuts.

That prompted concerns from U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, and others who worried about the impact the freeze would have on a new Job Corps center in Pinellas County.

The $42 million center opened in St. Petersburg's Midtown neighborhood in 2010, offering free job training, housing and meals to more than 200 low-income students.

Initially the Department planned to close seven centers nationwide, but instead chose to freeze new admissions at all centers. Local officials worried the freeze would negatively impact the center and the community.

"The nearly three-month enrollment freeze was an unnecessary setback for Job Corps," Castor said in a news release. "But as the economy continues to recover, it is welcome news for teens and young adults who seek the type of quality academic and technical training that leads to quality employment opportunities."

Department of Labor lifts freeze on new Job Corps enrollment 04/23/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 6:57pm]
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