Sen. Tammy Baldwin meets with Blackwell Job Center students

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- When members of the Blackwell Job Center heard of its possible closing from an email, to say they were concerned would be an understatement.

"I thought everything was gone, lost, and that in some way I failed,” said Carpentry Students Justyne Anderson.

"This should not have come as a surprise to the job course centers. It should not have come as a surprise to the faculty or the students. It should definitely not be a surprise to the congress that funds these programs," Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin added.

On Friday, Senator Baldwin met with members of the job center to hear their stories and lean about what the program has meant for them.

"This is a path for those who are dedicated to get ahead," Senator Baldwin said.

"I was a horrible student in school. I had a zero point something GPA. I didn’t even have a 1.0, but now I have my HSED," CNA Student Dorian Ramirez explained.

When the word of the possible closure broke out, it was actually the students who wrote letters to Wisconsin senators.

“The students have kind of banded together after they found out the center was closing. The decided that they needed to take action so they created a Facebook page, and the effect snowballed from there," added Blackwell Guidance Counselor Lorie Almazan.

It seems that the effort has paid off for the students. Now they have supports from both sides of the aisle.

"I plan on carrying their stories with me in Washington D.C. we're going to be asking a lot of questions for months to come on how did this happened," Senator Baldwin explained.

Representative Sean Duffy also released a statement about the Blackwell Job Center saying: “Immediately after the announcement was made, I began working with the White House to unwind this DOL [Department of Labor] decision. This wasn’t something that could wait for a bill to come through and it wasn’t about a fight with the White House. It required immediate, swift action and that’s exactly what I did. People in Northern Wisconsin need all the tools at their disposal to continue the blue-collar recovery and when I presented the White House with that information, they understood it.”