Trapper Creek Job Corps Center has been re-opening slowly this year as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hold on. But word from both Montana Senators this week indicated that activity is going to increase very shortly in the Bitterroot Valley center.

The Trapper Creek Center south of Darby will be allowing in-person activities for incoming new students, according to the Department of Labor. Montana has two Job Corps Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) centers - at Trapper Creek and in Anaconda. Both will be allowed to have in-person classes, according to Senator Jon Tester and Senator Steve Daines.

The centers, which were essentially closed during the majority of the pandemic, are part of a CCC network in 17 national forests and grasslands. The Trapper Creek Center is in the Bitterroot National Forest. Yearly, the national system trains over 4,000 students, many from low-income, rural communities. Both Daines and Tester led a fight to prevent closure of the centers in 2019 and have been pushing for the in-person class re-opening for several months.

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Tester said in a news release, "Montana's Job Corps Centers provide young adults with critical opportunities to learn skills, succeed in good-paying jobs, and improve our state. These centers have been closed far too long, and I'm glad to see the Department of Labor will answer my calls to reopen them for in-person activities." Daines also commented, "Montana's Job Corps centers provide valuable hands-on training and educational opportunities that are best experienced in-person."

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