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Waiting game

Apr 19, 2012 - By Steven R. Peck

With March Madness over and football season still five months off, a working professional in Riverton suggested last week that a different kind of office pool be started.

Each participant would wager $1 on whether the federal Job Corps Center promised to Riverton would be under construction by the end of the year ... or by Memorial Day next year ... or whatever date on which the participants would be willing to bet a buck.

This is not meant to make light of a serious situation, only to highlight the games that are being played in Washington with the facility that holds such promise for Fremont County, but which is generating an increasing level of disillusionment as well.

This has been going on for some years now. A fair question is whether any of the other 125 Job Corps Centers that did manage to get built had to suffer for years under the stop-and-go funding stunts that Wyoming's has.

At a time when political candidates from Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on down love nothing better than to talk about "job creation," it defies all logic to sit on the small amount of money to build Job Corps -- whose clearly demonstrated and repeatedly well-proven reason for being is to prepare young people to get jobs.

Needless to say, the failure of the federal government to follow through on its Job Corps promise to Wyoming further erodes the already paper-thin faith that most in our state have for the feds in the first place.

We wish the pressure of the 2012 election might make some difference in this torturous wait. But it won't. Mitt Romney will carry Wyoming whether Job Corps is delayed further or not. Barack Obama will lose Wyoming whether Job Corps is built or not.

U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis will be re-elected whether she is able to accelerate the Job Corps process or not. Sens. Enzi and Barrasso? Not up for re-election this year. Ditto for Gov. Mead.

In other words, there's nothing to do but wait. We're getting pretty good at that by now. The Wind River Job Corps was supposed to have been completed, staffed, opened and fully operational a year ago. As of today, not a brick has been placed,

On the topic of "job creation," the magic words of every candidate this year, simply the construction of the center as promised would provide employment, but those realities are lost in the warped world of political infighting that the American public deplores but which the officials elected to national office by that very same public seem not just to enjoy but to subsist upon.

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