The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

April 23, 2013

Job Corps enrollment reopens Congressional delegation pleased but cautious

(Continued)

One way he and his peers did that was to make a change in regulations: DOL was to be allowed to move funds from one category to another in ways that would support Job Corps funding.

Though the federal agency has been without a full-time director, Loebsack met with Assistant Secretary of Labor Jane Oates about the issue earlier this month.

“This is great news for the Job Corps Center in Ottumwa,” Loebsack said. “I have been pushing the Department of Labor to lift the freeze since it was announced earlier this year. The services provided by the center are important to the region and provide quality job training for young people in the area.”

But let’s not celebrate just yet, said Chuck Grassley, the Republican senator from Iowa. He had made plain in previous weeks that he felt as though Congress was being ignored by the DOL.

After hearing the news Monday, he reviewed the more specific, longer PDF file sent to Job Corps operators. He’s still a bit suspicious of the Labor Department’s intentions. The PDF file to the operators lists a series of formulae centers must complete before adding students, though it appears Ottumwa might be able to move forward.

“This response is better than a freeze, though it leaves unanswered and unaccounted for what mismanagement led to the enrollment freeze, which was unrelated to the federal sequester,” Grassley wrote in a press release Monday. “I was in Ottumwa at the Job Corps Center in February, and I’ll continue to monitor the federal agency’s handling of enrollment.”

Local Job Corps officials were unavailable for comment Monday.

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