Brown, Fudge Urge Alutiiq CEO to Ensure Smooth Transition for Employees and Youth at Cleveland Job Corps

With Existing Employees Requested to Re-Apply for Existing Positions, Brown and Fudge Ask New Management of Job Corps Operations to Help Workers Understand Rights, Roles, and Job Security

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) today sent a letter to Alutiiq CEO and President Richard Hobbs urging him to ensure a smooth transition for existing employees at the Cleveland Job Corps Academy and to ensure that the youth the Corps serves continue to receive quality service and instruction.

Management of the Cleveland Job Corps Academy was recently contracted to Alutiiq, LLC, an Anchorage, Alaska-based company. As part of their standard policy, Alutiiq is requiring all existing employees of the Academy to reapply for their existing positions and serve under a probationary period.

“The Jobs Corps Academy—funded by taxpayers—provides an important service to youth and young adults in the Cleveland area, and it’s important that this program’s mission is carried out to the highest ethical standards,” Brown said. “I’m hopeful that Alutiiq will be able to ensure a smooth transition for those workers who have served admirably and make certain that those who are served by the Academy continue to receive quality training.”

“The Jobs Corps Academy performs a vital service to youth and young adults in our community.   Its dedicated employees provide continuity and quality training our students need to achieve success,” said Congresswoman Fudge.  “During this time of transition, I am hopeful Alutiiq will recognize their dedication and valuable contributions as it establishes a fair and orderly process for ensuring quality workers can retain their jobs.   Students, employees and taxpayers are entitled to a Jobs Corps facility that delivers dependable, first-rate instruction with full accountability."

“Understandably, the transition and reapplication requirements have generated a good deal of anxiety among the hardworking and dedicated staff at the Cleveland Jobs Corps.  We urge you to do everything in your power to ensure a smooth transition that acknowledges the high quality staff who continue to work diligently on behalf of the youth they serve,” Brown and Fudge wrote. “Clear and consistent communication will ensure that workers understand their rights and roles, and that the youth served at the Cleveland Job Corps receive quality service and instruction.”

Job Corps is a no-cost education and career technical training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 improve the quality of their lives through career technical and academic training.

The full text of the letter is below.

February 16, 2011

Richard M. Hobbs, II

Chief Executive Officer/President

Afognak Native Corporation and Alutiiq, LLC

3909 Artic Blvd, Suite 400

Anchorage, Alaska 99503

Dear Mr. Hobbs:

It is our understanding that Alutiiq, LLC has now assumed the responsibility of management for the Job Corps operations in Cleveland. It is our further understanding that workers have been requested to re-apply for their existing positions, and serve under a probationary period, consistent with Alutiiq’s policy.

Understandably, the transition and reapplication requirements have generated a good deal of anxiety among the hardworking and dedicated staff at the Cleveland Job Corps. We urge you to do everything in your power to ensure a smooth transition that acknowledges the high quality staff who continue to work diligently on behalf of the youth they serve. Naturally, employees will have various questions about job security, policy and processes, and the continuation of health care and other employee benefits. Clear and consistent communication will ensure that workers understand their rights and roles, and that the youth served at the Cleveland Job Corps receive quality service and instruction.

We appreciate the challenges entailed in executing a seamless transition under these circumstances, and appreciate your efforts.  If we may be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Senator Sherrod Brown

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge

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