New Castle News

January 30, 2013

YDC closing warrants further investigation

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News

On Jan. 15, the governor’s office of Pennsylvania announced its plan to permanently close the New Castle Youth Development Center.

Various requests were made by local politicians and union leaders to seek out viable alternatives in order to preserve hundreds of jobs in a struggling economy. The requests were met with reassurance there would be no closing, even as recently as three weeks before the closing announcement.

Looking past the more obvious devastating effect this closing will have on our community and the families residing within, how does an award-winning facility with the capacity to house 300 residents become so underutilized that it must be closed? What justification or logic is employed to close the most equipped facility in the state with capability to sustain the entire Youth Development Center and Youth Forestry Center System staff as well as the students to be rehabilitated?

A genuine reason is a mystery that remains to be solved, but will never be solved as long as the decision being made is a final one that does not allow investigation. If there is a logical reason to close the largest facility with the most to offer the youth we are so desperately trying to impact and rehabilitate, then even I won’t have an argument.

I challenge the state to be thorough in the decisions being made that will impact hundreds of lives and livelihoods.

The facility should not be closed until an investigation can occur by an independent group that can seek unbiased answers and provide evidence this is the best decision for our state. We, the people, deserve a thorough explanation which is transparent, not a smoke-and-mirrors pacification.

David Miller

president

AFSCME Local 2353