LAONA — A job training center that has served hundreds of disadvantaged youths is closing in northern Wisconsin.
The closure of the Blackwell Job Corps Center in Laona comes as part of a Trump administration plan to cut 1,100 jobs in the Forest Service Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers program. Nationwide, nine centers will close.
The program in Wisconsin has been training young people since 1964. It had the capacity to train 160 students between the ages of 16 and 24 at a time in a range of skills, including labor and the medical profession.
Former instructor Eric Martinson tells Wisconsin Public Radio News the closure will also be felt by the Wisconsin companies that hire students who trained there, including major state manufacturers.