Ossoff pushes reopening of free Atlanta Job Corps

Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., has launched an inquiry with the Department of Labor to figure out what's going on with the federally-funded Atlanta Jobs Corps program.

"Employers across the state are hungry for skilled workers," Sen. Ossoff said. "As HVAC technicians, getting a welding certification, getting IT certifications. We need skilled workers, and young Georgians are eager to have the opportunity to build those skills."

There are 120 free locations across the country like it. 

In 2017, the Atlanta Job Corps site shut down because of a legal battle with a private building contractor over construction plans. Up until then, at that location alone, Atlanta Job Corps trained about 500 young adults a year, ages 16 to 24.

"This is about empowering young people to chart a path for themselves into a career that will help them build wealth for themselves and their family," he said.

FOX 5 reached an Atlanta-based spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Labor Wednesday evening, but they weren't able to immediately offer a clear answer to the senator's demands.

They sent a statement on Thursday:

The Office of Job Corps is moving forward with the construction of a Job Corps Center in Atlanta. We have partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to procure a contractor for the construction. We look forward to serving and contributing to the workforce and the economy in the Atlanta area.

But, Ossoff said he wants one soon – and in writing.

"I am expecting timely answers from the Department of Labor, so Georgians can count upon a clear plan towards re-opening the facility," the senator said.