ANACONDA – According to U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, this year’s open house at the Anaconda Job Corps Center was anything but routine.
While the Anaconda Job Corps’ open house is an annual event, Tuesday’s had a special feel to it.
Last May, the career-training program was set to be closed, and some Job Corps participants heard the news before going off on training.
“We wound up hearing about how the center was closing before we left,” said Job Corps participant Dylan Kurz.
An outcry from the community and work from U.S. Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester helped reverse that decision, and the center will remain open. Participants are celebrating the good news.
“It’s definitely a good program for people trying to find themselves […] if college isn’t best for them or they want to get out and work and find new things about themselves, we’ve got trades here,” Job Corps participant Caleb Ocken said.
“It’s an emotional moment because there was so much at stake here. We’re talking about the lives of these young people, and it’s giving them hope. It’s giving them second chances at life,” Daines said. He added that a phone call to President Trump helped get the decision to close the center reversed, and he’s delighted to see it remain open.
The young people involved in the Job Corps program say it has not only taught them an important trade, but it has also changed them for the better.
“Before I got here, I was not motivated at all. I did not know what I was going to do in my future or school-wise, and I wasn’t really that excited about the future, but Job Corps definitely has me excited,” participant Jacob Matson said.
Although there are still questions about its future management, the Trapper Creek Job Corps center near Darby will remain open as well.
-Reported by John Emeigh/MTN News