Job Corps Center Proposed for Closure: Comments Requested, 35992-35995 [2017-16281]

Download as PDF 35992 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 147 / Wednesday, August 2, 2017 / Notices 1. Agendas for future meetings: None 2. Minutes 3. Ratification List 4. Vote in Inv. No. 731–TA–1380 (Preliminary)(Tapered Roller Bearings from Korea). The Commission is currently scheduled to complete and file its determination on August 14, 2017; views of the Commission are currently scheduled to be completed and filed on August 21, 2017. 5. Outstanding action jackets: None In accordance with Commission policy, subject matter listed above, not disposed of at the scheduled meeting, may be carried over to the agenda of the following meeting. By order of the Commission: Issued: July 27, 2017. William R. Bishop, Supervisory Hearings and Information Officer. BILLING CODE 7020–02–P DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division sradovich on DSKBCFCHB2PROD with NOTICES Notice Pursuant to the National Cooper, Ative Research and Production Act of 1993—Vehicle Safety Communications 5 Consortium Notice is hereby given that, on June 29, 2017, pursuant to Section 6(a) of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, 15 U.S.C. 4301 et seq. (‘‘the Act’’), Vehicle Safety Communications 5 Consortium (‘‘VSC5 Consortium’’) has filed written notifications simultaneously with the Attorney General and the Federal Trade Commission disclosing changes in its membership. The notifications were filed for the purpose of extending the Act’s provisions limiting the recovery of antitrust plaintiffs to actual damages under specified circumstances. Specifically, Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, has withdrawn as a party to this venture. No other changes have been made in either the membership or planned activity of the group research project. Membership in this group research project remains open, and VSC5 Consortium intends to file additional written notifications disclosing all changes in membership. On December 3, 2014, VSC5 Consortium filed its original notification pursuant to Section 6(a) of the Act. The Department of Justice published a notice 19:43 Aug 01, 2017 Jkt 241001 Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement,Antitrust Division. [FR Doc. 2017–16049 Filed 8–1–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. DEA–392] Importer of Controlled Substances Application: Cambrex High Point, Inc. ACTION: Notice of application. Registered bulk manufacturers of the affected basic classes, and applicants therefore, may file written comments on or objections to the issuance of the proposed registration in accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a) on or before September 1, 2017. Such persons may also file a written request for a hearing on the application pursuant to 21 CFR 1301.43 on or before September 1, 2017. ADDRESSES: Written comments should be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attention: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing must be sent to: Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Administrator, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. All requests for hearing should also be sent to: (1) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: Hearing Clerk/LJ, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; and (2) Drug Enforcement Administration, Attn: DEA Federal Register Representative/DRW, 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152. Comments and requests for hearing on applications to import narcotic raw material are not appropriate. 72 FR 3417 (January 25, 2007). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Attorney General has delegated his authority under the Controlled Substances Act to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 28 CFR 0.100(b). Authority to exercise all necessary functions with respect to the promulgation and implementation of 21 CFR part 1301, incident to the registration of manufacturers, distributors, dispensers, importers, and exporters of controlled substances (other than final orders in connection with suspension, denial, or revocation of registration) has been DATES: [FR Doc. 2017–16368 Filed 7–31–17; 4:15 pm] VerDate Sep<11>2014 in the Federal Register pursuant to Section 6(b) of the Act on December 31, 2014 (79 FR 78909). PO 00000 Frm 00067 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 redelegated to the Assistant Administrator of the DEA Diversion Control Division (‘‘Assistant Administrator’’) pursuant to section 7 of 28 CFR part 0, appendix to subpart R. In accordance with 21 CFR 1301.34(a), this is notice that on November 22, 2016, Cambrex High Point, Inc., 4180 Mendenhall Oaks Parkway, High Point, North Carolina 27265 applied to be registered as an importer of poppy straw concentrate (9670), a basic class of controlled substance listed in schedule II. The company plans to import the listed controlled substance to bulk manufacture into other controlled substances for sale to its customers. Dated: July 24, 2017. Demetra Ashley, Acting Assistant Administrator. [FR Doc. 2017–16058 Filed 8–1–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410–09–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Job Corps Center Proposed for Closure: Comments Requested Office of Job Corps, Employment and Training Administration (ETA), Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (the Department or DOL) issues this notice to propose the closure of the Homestead Job Corps Center (Homestead) in Homestead, Florida, based on an evaluation of the center. This notice seeks public comment on the proposal to close Homestead. DATES: To be ensured consideration, comments must be submitted in writing on or before September 1, 2017. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket Number ETA– 2016–0003, by only one of the following methods: Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the Web site instructions for submitting comments. Mail and hand delivery/courier: Submit comments to Lenita JacobsSimmons, National Director, Office of Job Corps (OJC), U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N–4459, Washington, DC 20210. Due to securityrelated concerns, there may be a SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\02AUN1.SGM 02AUN1 sradovich on DSKBCFCHB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 147 / Wednesday, August 2, 2017 / Notices significant delay in the receipt of submissions by United States Mail. You must take this into consideration when preparing to meet the deadline for submitting comments. The Department will post all comments received on http://www.regulations.gov without making any changes to the comments or redacting any information, including any personal information provided. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is the Federal e-rulemaking portal and all comments posted there are available and accessible to the public. The Department recommends that commenters not include personal information such as Social Security Numbers, personal addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses in their comments that they do not wish to be made public, as such submitted information will be available to the public via the http:// www.regulations.gov Web site. Comments submitted through http:// www.regulations.gov will not include the email address of the commenter unless the commenter chooses to include that information as part of his or her comment. It is the responsibility of the commenter to safeguard personal information. Instructions: All submissions received should include the Docket Number for the notice: Docket Number ETA–2016– 0003. Please submit your comments by only one method. Again, please note that due to security concerns, postal mail delivery in Washington, DC may be delayed. Therefore, the Department encourages the public to submit comments on http:// www.regulations.gov. Docket: All comments on the selected Job Corps Center for closure will be available on the http:// www.regulations.gov Web site. The Department also will make all of the comments it receives available for public inspection by appointment during normal business hours at the above address. If you need assistance to review the comments, the Department will provide appropriate aids such as readers or print magnifiers. The Department will make copies of this methodology and the selected Job Corps center for closure available, upon request, in large print and electronic file on computer disk. To schedule an appointment to review the comments and/or obtain the notice in an alternative format, contact the Office of Job Corps at (202) 693–3000 (this is not a toll-free number). You may also contact this office at the address listed below. VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:43 Aug 01, 2017 Jkt 241001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, National Director, Office of Job Corps, ETA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N–4463, Washington, DC 20210; Telephone (202) 693–3000 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with hearing or speech impairments may access the telephone number above via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at (877) 889–5627 (TTY/ TDD). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background on the Job Corps Program and Center Closures Established in 1964, Job Corps is a national program administered by ETA in the Department. It is the nation’s largest federally-funded, primarily residential training program for at-risk youth, ages 16 to 24. Through 125 centers in 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, Job Corps seeks to change lives through education and job training for in-demand careers. Job Corps serves at-risk young people who are overcoming major challenges, which can include deep poverty, homelessness, or multiple foster care placements, by providing them with the academic, career technical, and employability skills to enter the workforce, enroll in post-secondary education, or enlist in the military. The program represents the core American value that no matter who you are or where you come from, you should have the opportunity to succeed. Large and small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and Native American tribes manage and operate 99 of the Job Corps centers through contractual agreements with the Department of Labor, which are awarded pursuant to federal procurement rules. Twenty-six Civilian Conservation Centers (CCCs) are operated through an interagency agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Job Corps receives annual funding to operate centers, administer the program, and build, maintain, expand, or upgrade a limited number of new and existing facilities. II. Closure Criteria The Department is continuously taking steps to ensure that Job Corps’ resources are used to deliver the best possible results for students. As part of these ongoing efforts, the Department may determine that closing a center will allow Job Corps to more effectively serve its students. Since 2014, the Department has closed two centers. PO 00000 Frm 00068 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 35993 A. The Criteria for Proposing a Center for Closure The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which became effective on July 1, 2015, directs DOL to ‘‘establish written criteria that the Secretary shall use to determine when a Job Corps center supported under this part is to be closed and how to carry out such closure[.]’’ 29 U.S.C. 3211(c)(1). The Department has published three criteria upon which it may propose to close a center: 1. A methodology for selecting a center for closure based on its chronic low performance, first described in an August 2014 Federal Register Notice (FRN) (79 FR 51198), and updated in the March 9, 2016, FRN (81 FR 12529); 2. An agreement between the Secretaries of Labor and Agriculture to close a CCC, as described in the March 9, 2016, FRN; and 3. An evaluation of the effort required to provide a high-quality education and training program at the center, as described in the March 9, 2016, FRN. Closure may be based on any one of the three criteria, and a single criterion may be applied independently of the others. Thus, while a center may qualify for closure under more than one criterion, DOL may choose to rely on only one criterion when deciding to propose a center for closure. These criteria have been previously established; therefore, the Department does not seek comments on these criteria in response to this Notice. Prior to making a decision to propose a center’s closure, the Department also applies the Additional Considerations first discussed in the August 2014 notice and described below. B. Additional Considerations for Center Closure As described in the March 9, 2016, FRN, after applying any of the three closure criterion identified above, the Department will consider the following factors, as appropriate, when deciding whether it should propose a center for closure: 1. Job Corps Services for Residents in Each State, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia The Department is committed to providing services in a broad geographic area. When deciding to propose a center for closure, DOL will ensure that it maintains at least one Job Corps center in each state, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. The program will also take into consideration whether a center’s closure would have a disproportionate E:\FR\FM\02AUN1.SGM 02AUN1 35994 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 147 / Wednesday, August 2, 2017 / Notices impact on the training opportunities for students in any one state. Additionally, Job Corps is committed to ensuring that a state’s population, especially eligible young people who could benefit from participating in the program, has adequate exposure to Job Corps’ opportunities and services. Accordingly, in applying the criteria, DOL will ensure that it does not too rapidly reduce Job Corps’ presence in any one state. 2. Sufficiency of Data Available To Evaluate Center Performance When proposing closure for chronic low performance, the Department will not consider any center for which it does not have sufficient data to evaluate that center’s performance. Because this Notice does not propose a closure based on performance, this consideration does not apply to the proposed closures discussed below. 3. Indication of Significant Recent Performance Improvement When applying the performancebased methodology, the Department will consider evidence of recent performance improvement. Therefore, a center will be removed from closure consideration based on performance-based closure criteria if it is performing in the top half of centers in the most recent full year of performance data. Again, because this notice does not propose a closure based on performance, this consideration does not apply to the proposed closures discussed below. sradovich on DSKBCFCHB2PROD with NOTICES 4. Job Corps’ Commitment to Diversity Job Corps currently serves a diverse student population and remains committed to serving disadvantaged youth from all backgrounds. In making final closure decisions under any of the three criteria identified in Section A above, we will consider whether a center’s closure would result in a significant reduction in student diversity within the overall Job Corps system. III. Proposal To Close the Homestead Job Corps Center For the reasons discussed below, Job Corps proposes to close the Homestead Job Corps Center under the third criterion—an evaluation of the effort required to provide a high-quality education and training program at the center, as described in the March 9, 2016, FRN. Some centers, for a variety of reasons, face more difficult challenges than others in providing a safe, secure environment where participants can receive high-quality education and training. Some challenges develop over VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:43 Aug 01, 2017 Jkt 241001 time, while others arise more rapidly. Challenges may involve the condition of the facility, its proximity to relevant job markets, the ability of the center to attract students, the impact of one-time events, or a host of other factors. Addressing these challenges may require sustained efforts that involve significant programmatic, staff, capital, organizational, and/or other investments and resources, and sometimes these challenges continue regardless of the contractor or entity operating the center. Even with such a commitment, it may be difficult to achieve positive outcomes for students. In such a situation, Job Corps will carefully assess the following: 1. The ongoing needs of the center against those of the program overall. 2. The effort required to provide and maintain a high-quality, safe, and productive living and learning environment. 3. Whether that effort is likely to ultimately produce an outcome that contributes to the program’s overall strength and integrity. After reviewing all relevant information, the Department may decide to propose a center for closure. Following an evaluation of continuing center operations using the framework outlined above, the Department proposes to close the Homestead Job Corps Center. The Homestead Job Corps Center has been inactive since September 2015, after the homicide of a Job Corps student in an area adjacent to campus. The tragedy highlighted design problems at the facility which negatively affected the safety and security of the center. Homestead has operated on the grounds of a former Air Force base, with students trained and housed across a 40-acre campus layout with a public street running through the middle, dividing the campus into two separate and distinct parts. A review of Homestead’s physical plant and campus layout conducted by Job Corps’ Engineering Support Contractor after the suspension of operations concluded that the inefficient layout, as well as the lack of any barrier around the campus periphery, resulted in unsafe center conditions that would have to be addressed before DOL could reactivate the center. The best and most cost effective approach for creating a safe, secure environment at the center for students and staff would be to consolidate the center onto a unified, smaller, 30-acre campus layout with a surrounding fence. However, even these necessary improvements could cost as much as $13 million, a significant portion of the $75 million Job Corps has PO 00000 Frm 00069 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 been appropriated annually for construction and repairs at all 125 Job Corps centers in recent years. The Department has concluded that investing so much in remaking Homestead’s campus is not the best use of limited resources. More than 25 percent of Job Corps’ more than 4,000 buildings are over 50 years old, leading to a repair and construction backlog of more than $470 million. Spending nearly one-fifth of the program’s construction budget to alter this site’s grounds and facilities and remedy its presently identified deficiencies would significantly impact Job Corps’ ability to make needed repairs and improvements at other centers. This is not a prudent use of the Department’s resources, particularly given the successful maintenance of opportunities at the other four centers in Florida and the Southeast generally. In order to provide functional, safe, and secure campuses for as many students as possible given the limited resources available, DOL has determined students in Florida and across the country will be better served if Job Corps’ construction and repair budget—and the time, personnel, and effort required to administer the use of these funds—is allotted across the entire system to improve the conditions of as many centers and as many students as possible. Additionally, the events leading to the suspension of activities at the Homestead campus may for the foreseeable future serve as a significant disincentive for students to attend the center, negatively impacting its operations by reducing the number of students on center and reducing its cost effectiveness. Job Corps is intensely focused on safety and security, and is presently working to demonstrate to potential and enrolled students and their families that Job Corps is a safe and welcoming place. As the criminal case involving the murder continues to move through the criminal justice system, Job Corps operations at Homestead will continue to face intense scrutiny, complicating and hindering the process of recruiting, educating, and training at-risk students at this site. Despite the change in the Homestead Center’s operating status, Job Corps has maintained the same capacity to serve students from Florida since operations were temporarily suspended. In the wake of the Homestead tragedy, Job Corps transferred 189 students to other centers, primarily in Florida and the Southeast region, as it reassessed the safety and security of the property. The Job Corps program has robust capacity in Florida, a state where there are four other centers, including the Miami Job E:\FR\FM\02AUN1.SGM 02AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 147 / Wednesday, August 2, 2017 / Notices Corps Center less than 50 miles away from the Homestead campus, which helped absorb transferred students. After studying (1) the ongoing needs of the center against those of the program overall, (2) the effort needed to provide and maintain a high-quality, safe, and productive living and learning environment, and (3) whether that effort is likely to ultimately produce an outcome that contributes to the program’s overall strength and integrity, the Department concluded that closing the Homestead Job Corps Center is in the best interest of the program. After completing this evaluation, the Department then applied the relevant additional considerations outlined in the March 2016 FRN and discussed above in Section II.B and determined that these considerations did not preclude closure of the Homestead Job Corps Center. The Department now requests public comments on its proposal to close the Homestead Job Corps Center. sradovich on DSKBCFCHB2PROD with NOTICES IV. The Process for Closing Job Corps Centers Under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) The Department’s process for closing Job Corps centers will follow the requirements of section 159(j) of the WIOA, which include the following: • The proposed decision to close a particular center is announced in advance to the general public through publication in the Federal Register or other appropriate means; • A reasonable comment period, not to exceed 30 days, is established for interested individuals to submit written comments to the Secretary; and • The Member of Congress who represents the district in which such center is located is notified within a reasonable period of time in advance of any final decision to close the center. This Notice serves as the public announcement of the decision to close the Homestead Job Corps Center. The Department is providing a 30-day period—the maximum amount of time allowed for comment under WIOA sec. 159(j)—for interested individuals to submit written comments on the proposed decision to close this center. Byron Zuidema, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training. [FR Doc. 2017–16281 Filed 8–1–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–FT–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:43 Aug 01, 2017 Jkt 241001 DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Docket No. OSHA–2015–0024] Jardon and Howard Technologies, Incorporated; Application for Permanent Variance and Interim Order; Grant of Interim Order; Request for Comments Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In this notice, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (‘‘OSHA’’ or ‘‘the Agency’’) announces the application of Jardon and Howard Technologies, Incorporated (‘‘JHT’’ or ‘‘the applicant’’) for a permanent variance from several provisions in OSHA’s standards that regulate commercial diving operations. Additionally, the applicant requests an interim order based on the conditions specified in the variance application. JHT’s variance request is based on the conditions that were specified in the alternate standards that OSHA granted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) on September 5, 2014. OSHA announces its preliminary finding to grant the permanent variance, and also announces that it is granting the applicant’s request for an interim order. OSHA invites the public to submit comments on whether to grant the applicant a permanent variance based on the conditions specified in the notice. DATES: Submit comments, information, documents in response to this notice, and request for a hearing on or before September 1, 2017. The interim order specified by this notice becomes effective on August 2, 2017, and shall remain in effect until it is modified or revoked, or until OSHA publishes a decision on the permanent variance application, whichever occurs first. ADDRESSES: Submit comments by any of the following methods: 1. Electronically: Submit comments and attachments electronically at http:// www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking portal. Follow the instructions online for making electronic submissions. 2. Facsimile: If submissions, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages, commenters may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693–1648. 3. Regular or express mail, hand delivery, or messenger (courier) service: Submit comments, requests, and any SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 35995 attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA–2015–0024, Technical Data Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N–2625, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693–2350 (TTY number: (877) 889–5627). Note that security procedures may result in significant delays in receiving comments and other written materials by regular mail. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about security procedures concerning delivery of materials by express mail, hand delivery, or messenger service. The hours of operation for the OSHA Docket Office are 10:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m. 4. Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the OSHA docket number (OSHA–2015–0024). OSHA places comments and other materials, including any personal information, in the public docket without revision, and these materials will be available online at http:// www.regulations.gov. Therefore, the Agency cautions commenters about submitting statements they do not want made available to the public, or submitting comments that contain personal information (either about themselves or others) such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, and medical data. 5. Docket: To read or download submissions or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All documents in the docket are listed in the http:// www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through the Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection at the OSHA Docket Office. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for assistance in locating docket submissions. 6. Copies of this Federal Register notice: Electronic copies of the Federal Register notice are available at http:// www.regulations.gov. This Federal Register notice, as well as new releases and other relevant information, also are available at OSHA’s Web page at http:// www.osha.gov. 7. Extension of comment period: Submit requests for an extension of the comment period on or before September 1, 2017 to the Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N–3655, Washington, DC 20210, or by fax to (202) 693–1644. E:\FR\FM\02AUN1.SGM 02AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 147 (Wednesday, August 2, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 35992-35995]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-16281]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration


Job Corps Center Proposed for Closure: Comments Requested

AGENCY: Office of Job Corps, Employment and Training Administration 
(ETA), Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the U.S. 
Department of Labor (the Department or DOL) issues this notice to 
propose the closure of the Homestead Job Corps Center (Homestead) in 
Homestead, Florida, based on an evaluation of the center. This notice 
seeks public comment on the proposal to close Homestead.

DATES: To be ensured consideration, comments must be submitted in 
writing on or before September 1, 2017.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by Docket Number ETA-
2016-0003, by only one of the following methods:
    Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the 
Web site instructions for submitting comments.
    Mail and hand delivery/courier: Submit comments to Lenita Jacobs-
Simmons, National Director, Office of Job Corps (OJC), U.S. Department 
of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, 200 Constitution 
Avenue NW., Room N-4459, Washington, DC 20210. Due to security-related 
concerns, there may be a

[[Page 35993]]

significant delay in the receipt of submissions by United States Mail. 
You must take this into consideration when preparing to meet the 
deadline for submitting comments. The Department will post all comments 
received on http://www.regulations.gov without making any changes to 
the comments or redacting any information, including any personal 
information provided. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is the 
Federal e-rulemaking portal and all comments posted there are available 
and accessible to the public. The Department recommends that commenters 
not include personal information such as Social Security Numbers, 
personal addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses in their 
comments that they do not wish to be made public, as such submitted 
information will be available to the public via the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Comments submitted through http://www.regulations.gov will not include the email address of the commenter 
unless the commenter chooses to include that information as part of his 
or her comment. It is the responsibility of the commenter to safeguard 
personal information.
    Instructions: All submissions received should include the Docket 
Number for the notice: Docket Number ETA-2016-0003. Please submit your 
comments by only one method. Again, please note that due to security 
concerns, postal mail delivery in Washington, DC may be delayed. 
Therefore, the Department encourages the public to submit comments on 
http://www.regulations.gov.
    Docket: All comments on the selected Job Corps Center for closure 
will be available on the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. The 
Department also will make all of the comments it receives available for 
public inspection by appointment during normal business hours at the 
above address. If you need assistance to review the comments, the 
Department will provide appropriate aids such as readers or print 
magnifiers. The Department will make copies of this methodology and the 
selected Job Corps center for closure available, upon request, in large 
print and electronic file on computer disk. To schedule an appointment 
to review the comments and/or obtain the notice in an alternative 
format, contact the Office of Job Corps at (202) 693-3000 (this is not 
a toll-free number). You may also contact this office at the address 
listed below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Lenita Jacobs-Simmons, National 
Director, Office of Job Corps, ETA, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 
Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-4463, Washington, DC 20210; Telephone 
(202) 693-3000 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with 
hearing or speech impairments may access the telephone number above via 
TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Information Relay Service at (877) 
889-5627 (TTY/TDD).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background on the Job Corps Program and Center Closures

    Established in 1964, Job Corps is a national program administered 
by ETA in the Department. It is the nation's largest federally-funded, 
primarily residential training program for at-risk youth, ages 16 to 
24. Through 125 centers in 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of 
Columbia, Job Corps seeks to change lives through education and job 
training for in-demand careers. Job Corps serves at-risk young people 
who are overcoming major challenges, which can include deep poverty, 
homelessness, or multiple foster care placements, by providing them 
with the academic, career technical, and employability skills to enter 
the workforce, enroll in post-secondary education, or enlist in the 
military. The program represents the core American value that no matter 
who you are or where you come from, you should have the opportunity to 
succeed.
    Large and small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and Native 
American tribes manage and operate 99 of the Job Corps centers through 
contractual agreements with the Department of Labor, which are awarded 
pursuant to federal procurement rules. Twenty-six Civilian Conservation 
Centers (CCCs) are operated through an interagency agreement with the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Job Corps receives annual 
funding to operate centers, administer the program, and build, 
maintain, expand, or upgrade a limited number of new and existing 
facilities.

II. Closure Criteria

    The Department is continuously taking steps to ensure that Job 
Corps' resources are used to deliver the best possible results for 
students. As part of these ongoing efforts, the Department may 
determine that closing a center will allow Job Corps to more 
effectively serve its students. Since 2014, the Department has closed 
two centers.

A. The Criteria for Proposing a Center for Closure

    The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), which became 
effective on July 1, 2015, directs DOL to ``establish written criteria 
that the Secretary shall use to determine when a Job Corps center 
supported under this part is to be closed and how to carry out such 
closure[.]'' 29 U.S.C. 3211(c)(1). The Department has published three 
criteria upon which it may propose to close a center:
    1. A methodology for selecting a center for closure based on its 
chronic low performance, first described in an August 2014 Federal 
Register Notice (FRN) (79 FR 51198), and updated in the March 9, 2016, 
FRN (81 FR 12529);
    2. An agreement between the Secretaries of Labor and Agriculture to 
close a CCC, as described in the March 9, 2016, FRN; and
    3. An evaluation of the effort required to provide a high-quality 
education and training program at the center, as described in the March 
9, 2016, FRN.
    Closure may be based on any one of the three criteria, and a single 
criterion may be applied independently of the others. Thus, while a 
center may qualify for closure under more than one criterion, DOL may 
choose to rely on only one criterion when deciding to propose a center 
for closure. These criteria have been previously established; 
therefore, the Department does not seek comments on these criteria in 
response to this Notice.
    Prior to making a decision to propose a center's closure, the 
Department also applies the Additional Considerations first discussed 
in the August 2014 notice and described below.

B. Additional Considerations for Center Closure

    As described in the March 9, 2016, FRN, after applying any of the 
three closure criterion identified above, the Department will consider 
the following factors, as appropriate, when deciding whether it should 
propose a center for closure:
1. Job Corps Services for Residents in Each State, Puerto Rico, and the 
District of Columbia
    The Department is committed to providing services in a broad 
geographic area. When deciding to propose a center for closure, DOL 
will ensure that it maintains at least one Job Corps center in each 
state, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. 
The program will also take into consideration whether a center's 
closure would have a disproportionate

[[Page 35994]]

impact on the training opportunities for students in any one state. 
Additionally, Job Corps is committed to ensuring that a state's 
population, especially eligible young people who could benefit from 
participating in the program, has adequate exposure to Job Corps' 
opportunities and services. Accordingly, in applying the criteria, DOL 
will ensure that it does not too rapidly reduce Job Corps' presence in 
any one state.
2. Sufficiency of Data Available To Evaluate Center Performance
    When proposing closure for chronic low performance, the Department 
will not consider any center for which it does not have sufficient data 
to evaluate that center's performance. Because this Notice does not 
propose a closure based on performance, this consideration does not 
apply to the proposed closures discussed below.
3. Indication of Significant Recent Performance Improvement
    When applying the performance-based methodology, the Department 
will consider evidence of recent performance improvement. Therefore, a 
center will be removed from closure consideration based on performance-
based closure criteria if it is performing in the top half of centers 
in the most recent full year of performance data. Again, because this 
notice does not propose a closure based on performance, this 
consideration does not apply to the proposed closures discussed below.
4. Job Corps' Commitment to Diversity
    Job Corps currently serves a diverse student population and remains 
committed to serving disadvantaged youth from all backgrounds. In 
making final closure decisions under any of the three criteria 
identified in Section A above, we will consider whether a center's 
closure would result in a significant reduction in student diversity 
within the overall Job Corps system.

III. Proposal To Close the Homestead Job Corps Center

    For the reasons discussed below, Job Corps proposes to close the 
Homestead Job Corps Center under the third criterion--an evaluation of 
the effort required to provide a high-quality education and training 
program at the center, as described in the March 9, 2016, FRN.
    Some centers, for a variety of reasons, face more difficult 
challenges than others in providing a safe, secure environment where 
participants can receive high-quality education and training. Some 
challenges develop over time, while others arise more rapidly. 
Challenges may involve the condition of the facility, its proximity to 
relevant job markets, the ability of the center to attract students, 
the impact of one-time events, or a host of other factors. Addressing 
these challenges may require sustained efforts that involve significant 
programmatic, staff, capital, organizational, and/or other investments 
and resources, and sometimes these challenges continue regardless of 
the contractor or entity operating the center. Even with such a 
commitment, it may be difficult to achieve positive outcomes for 
students.
    In such a situation, Job Corps will carefully assess the following:
    1. The ongoing needs of the center against those of the program 
overall.
    2. The effort required to provide and maintain a high-quality, 
safe, and productive living and learning environment.
    3. Whether that effort is likely to ultimately produce an outcome 
that contributes to the program's overall strength and integrity.
    After reviewing all relevant information, the Department may decide 
to propose a center for closure.
    Following an evaluation of continuing center operations using the 
framework outlined above, the Department proposes to close the 
Homestead Job Corps Center. The Homestead Job Corps Center has been 
inactive since September 2015, after the homicide of a Job Corps 
student in an area adjacent to campus.
    The tragedy highlighted design problems at the facility which 
negatively affected the safety and security of the center. Homestead 
has operated on the grounds of a former Air Force base, with students 
trained and housed across a 40-acre campus layout with a public street 
running through the middle, dividing the campus into two separate and 
distinct parts. A review of Homestead's physical plant and campus 
layout conducted by Job Corps' Engineering Support Contractor after the 
suspension of operations concluded that the inefficient layout, as well 
as the lack of any barrier around the campus periphery, resulted in 
unsafe center conditions that would have to be addressed before DOL 
could reactivate the center. The best and most cost effective approach 
for creating a safe, secure environment at the center for students and 
staff would be to consolidate the center onto a unified, smaller, 30-
acre campus layout with a surrounding fence. However, even these 
necessary improvements could cost as much as $13 million, a significant 
portion of the $75 million Job Corps has been appropriated annually for 
construction and repairs at all 125 Job Corps centers in recent years.
    The Department has concluded that investing so much in remaking 
Homestead's campus is not the best use of limited resources. More than 
25 percent of Job Corps' more than 4,000 buildings are over 50 years 
old, leading to a repair and construction backlog of more than $470 
million. Spending nearly one-fifth of the program's construction budget 
to alter this site's grounds and facilities and remedy its presently 
identified deficiencies would significantly impact Job Corps' ability 
to make needed repairs and improvements at other centers. This is not a 
prudent use of the Department's resources, particularly given the 
successful maintenance of opportunities at the other four centers in 
Florida and the Southeast generally. In order to provide functional, 
safe, and secure campuses for as many students as possible given the 
limited resources available, DOL has determined students in Florida and 
across the country will be better served if Job Corps' construction and 
repair budget--and the time, personnel, and effort required to 
administer the use of these funds--is allotted across the entire system 
to improve the conditions of as many centers and as many students as 
possible.
    Additionally, the events leading to the suspension of activities at 
the Homestead campus may for the foreseeable future serve as a 
significant disincentive for students to attend the center, negatively 
impacting its operations by reducing the number of students on center 
and reducing its cost effectiveness. Job Corps is intensely focused on 
safety and security, and is presently working to demonstrate to 
potential and enrolled students and their families that Job Corps is a 
safe and welcoming place. As the criminal case involving the murder 
continues to move through the criminal justice system, Job Corps 
operations at Homestead will continue to face intense scrutiny, 
complicating and hindering the process of recruiting, educating, and 
training at-risk students at this site.
    Despite the change in the Homestead Center's operating status, Job 
Corps has maintained the same capacity to serve students from Florida 
since operations were temporarily suspended. In the wake of the 
Homestead tragedy, Job Corps transferred 189 students to other centers, 
primarily in Florida and the Southeast region, as it reassessed the 
safety and security of the property. The Job Corps program has robust 
capacity in Florida, a state where there are four other centers, 
including the Miami Job

[[Page 35995]]

Corps Center less than 50 miles away from the Homestead campus, which 
helped absorb transferred students.
    After studying (1) the ongoing needs of the center against those of 
the program overall, (2) the effort needed to provide and maintain a 
high-quality, safe, and productive living and learning environment, and 
(3) whether that effort is likely to ultimately produce an outcome that 
contributes to the program's overall strength and integrity, the 
Department concluded that closing the Homestead Job Corps Center is in 
the best interest of the program.
    After completing this evaluation, the Department then applied the 
relevant additional considerations outlined in the March 2016 FRN and 
discussed above in Section II.B and determined that these 
considerations did not preclude closure of the Homestead Job Corps 
Center.
    The Department now requests public comments on its proposal to 
close the Homestead Job Corps Center.

IV. The Process for Closing Job Corps Centers Under the Workforce 
Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

    The Department's process for closing Job Corps centers will follow 
the requirements of section 159(j) of the WIOA, which include the 
following:
     The proposed decision to close a particular center is 
announced in advance to the general public through publication in the 
Federal Register or other appropriate means;
     A reasonable comment period, not to exceed 30 days, is 
established for interested individuals to submit written comments to 
the Secretary; and
     The Member of Congress who represents the district in 
which such center is located is notified within a reasonable period of 
time in advance of any final decision to close the center.
    This Notice serves as the public announcement of the decision to 
close the Homestead Job Corps Center. The Department is providing a 30-
day period--the maximum amount of time allowed for comment under WIOA 
sec. 159(j)--for interested individuals to submit written comments on 
the proposed decision to close this center.

Byron Zuidema,
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training.
[FR Doc. 2017-16281 Filed 8-1-17; 8:45 am]
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