Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn Wednesday joined Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino and Student Conservation Association representatives in announcing expansion of the highly successful PA Outdoor Corps to work in state parks and state forests across the state.
Begun in early summer with five teen crews throughout state, the innovative PA Outdoor Corps offers paid work experience, job training, and educational opportunities to young people who complete recreation and conservation projects at state parks, forestlands, and other Pennsylvania public lands
“Whether it was battling invasive growth, restoring hiking trails or renovating a state forest gazebo, PA Outdoor Corps members worked hard last summer to protect and restore our public lands and waters, while receiving knowledge and expertise to be good stewards of our natural resources,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “I heard firsthand at their job sites how these young crews appreciated both the job opportunities and the chance to connect with the outdoors and gain training necessary for future successful employment.”
The DCNR secretary notes the program is a key element of the department’s strategic efforts to connect with youth and expand job opportunities, particularly in underserved areas of the state.
“This youth employment and enrichment program is managed by DCNR in cooperation with the Student Conservation Association, with financial and program support provided by DCNR and the PA Department of Labor & Industry’s Reemployment Fund,” Dunn said.
“Having had a chance to see these students at work in our beautiful state parks, we are especially pleased to offer our support to expand the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps in 2017 to create even more jobs,” said Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino. “We also are pleased to be working to attract more students from lower income households where barriers to employments, such as transportation, may be a larger issue.”
The PA Outdoor Corps consists of two components: a six-week, summer program for youth between the ages of 15-18, and a 10-month program for young adults ages 18-25, for which applications now are being accepted.
-- Be between the ages of 18 to 25 at the start of the program;
-- Be able to conduct physical work in challenging, outdoor conditions;
-- Be enthusiastic about working on a diverse crew;
-- Have an interest in conservation and natural resource management;
-- Be able to model safe and professional behavior at all times.
Successful applicants will work February through November, 2017, in the Philadelphia, Greensburg, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport areas.
They will work a 37.5-hour week and receive $10.25-per-hour compensation and health insurance. Daily transportation to and from the worksite and breakfast and lunch will also be provided.
Selected young people will join crews of 10 workers and two leaders, and work on trail maintenance, habitat restoration, vegetation management, park maintenance, light construction and more.
Environmental education and job skills training also are provided.
Applicants should be aware work is physically demanding and takes place in an outdoor setting in all weather and seasons.
-- Serve as part of a team on physically challenging conservation projects in the outdoors;
-- Actively participate in crew projects, activities and decision making;
-- Meet the crew at a designated meeting location each morning;
-- Assist in additional tasks, including data recording, photography, equipment maintenance and logistical planning as designated by a crew leader;
-- Comply with SCA and DCNR policies as required.
The PA Outdoor Corps will expand its summer program in 2017, offering job opportunities for 15-18 year-olds in at least 10 locations. Locations are still being determined for that program, and applications will be accepted beginning this spring.To learn more and to apply, visit the PA Outdoor Corps website for all the details. Upon completing the SCA application, applicants are asked to email: firstname.lastname@example.org to let their interest be known.