Job Corps turns 50, Trapper Creek welcomes new director


Job Corps turns 50, Trapper Creek welcomes new director

DARBY, Mont. - As Job Corps celebrates its 50th anniversary, Trapper Creek Job Corps welcomes a new director.

Chris Feutrier has been at his new post a little more than a week.

NBC Montana met up with the new director with a group of his student leaders Friday morning.

In the cluster of talkative, friendly student ambassadors, Feutrier said he sees academic and job training as only part of education.

"You're buying into social skills training," said Feutrier, "and figuring out how to be your brother's keeper, and sister's keeper, and by helping others you help yourself."

Trapper Creek is rebounding after cuts and an enrollment stoppage from the 2013 federal budget sequestration.

Before sequestration, Trapper Creek averaged more than 220 students, but after the budget cuts, it had gone down to 120.

"Now, we're back up to 215," said Feutrier, "and expect to be full again in the next couple weeks.

Feutrier said among the 28 Forest Service administered sites, Trapper Creek was rated No. 2 last year, and No. 1, the year before. he ratings are based on graduation rates and career success.

Trapper is doubling its popular natural resources program.

Feutrier said as Forest Service budgets decline, Job Corps could pick up work that's not getting done on recreational trails.

"Trails work," he said, "maintaining some of the Forest Service forestry rec buildings, and also participating in some of the firefighting activities."

Feutrier and his delegation of students showed NBC Montana the beautiful new coffee bar students have built.

They showed us an addition to the weight room, built with students' hands, and a math room that is currently being remodeled.

The new director said it's important for student courses to keep updated with the 21st century.

"And really aligned with the industry that Montanans need," he said.

The new director said he is proud to be part of a legacy of 50 years of success with Job Corps.

He said it gives young people a chance for the American dream.

Since  1966, Trapper Creek has graduated 15,000 to 20,000 students. Nationally, 2.7 million students have passed through the program.

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