National Job Corps official has resigned

A top Labor Department official who took the responsibility for budgeting mistakes and cost overruns at the federal Job Corps program is stepping down.

According to the Associated Press, Jane Oates is resigning her position as assistant secretary of the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration at the end of the month.

Oates had testified in front of a Congressional subcommittee which held a hearing in March to explore reasons for the financial shortfall, which at one point created an enrollment freeze. She had faced tough questioning.

Labor Department spokesman Carl Fillichio declined to comment on Oates’ resignation.

Job Corps faced financial challenges during the 2011 and 2012 program years, leading to the temporary suspension of enrollment on Jan. 28 of this year.

The Department and ETA’s Office of Job Corps have worked with centers and the Job Corps community to address those challenges.

On April 11, the Department rescinded a partial stop-work order on Outreach and Admissions activities to provide Job Corps contractors with time to prepare for resuming enrollment.

The U.S. Department of Labor on April 22 announced that the Employment and Training Administration has ended its temporary suspension of enrollment at Job Corps centers, effective immediately. This also included Job Corps in Cassadaga.

On May 5, the OBSERVER reported about the hiring freeze and sought comment from the national office.

“The Department strongly supports Job Corps, which provides life-changing opportunities for thousands of deserving young people each year,” acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris said in a statement to the OBSERVER after the article was published.

“The suspension of enrollment has been difficult for students and families, and the Department is committed to ensuring that this important program is administered efficiently by ETA and in the best interests of students and families. I greatly appreciate the support of the Congress, through the Continuing Resolution, to help us address funding challenges.

The statement also said, “The Office of Job Corps looks forward to working collaboratively with representatives of the Job Corps contractor community to continue efforts to reduce administrative costs, re-examine the size of career technical training and academic programs, and implement cost savings recommended by working groups.”