California Conservation Corps Sends Crews to Big Sur Fire

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

It may be December, but members of the California Conservation Corps were still sent to a forest fire.  Thirty corpsmembers from the CCC's Monterey Bay Center were dispatched Monday to the Pfeiffer Fire in the Big Sur area. 

The corpsmembers are assisting the U.S. Forest Service with logistical support at the fire camp.

The fire, located in the Los Padres National Forest, destroyed at least a dozen homes, including one belonging to the local fire chief.

Boiler Plate: 
It may be December, but members of the California Conservation Corps were still sent to a forest fire. Thirty corpsmembers from the CCC's Monterey Bay Center were dispatched Monday to the Pfeiffer Fire in the Big Sur area.

Your Chance to Win Fantastic Original Artwork & Support The Corps Network

A Very Special Opportunity

We are excited to announce that everyone who donates (or has donated) to The Corps Network’s CrowdRise Holiday Campaign will be entered to win an 11 x 17 inch print depicting original artwork from The Corps Network's new book, Join the Crew: Inspirational Stories of Young Adults in America’s Service and Conservation Corps! 

Through this artwork, we wish to highlight the work that The Corps Network does to tell the stories of the Next Greatest Generation and raise the visibility of our Corpsmembers’ accomplishments. The opportunity to be entered to win the Join the Crew artwork will end on December 31st, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. 


Thank you for supporting The Corps Network and now back to our originally scheduled email...

As participants in the Crowdrise Holiday Challenge, The Corps Network greatly appreciates your donation, which will support our work cultivating the “Next Greatest Generation” of Americans. Each week, we will highlight some of our 2013 accomplishments. In the final week of our campaign, we’re focusing on the work we do to tell the stories of our Corpsmembers – the many inspiring veterans and youth who serve in Corps every year. These Corpsmembers are the next greatest generation of American leaders. 

The Corps Network (TCN) expands the conversation around America’s youth and their stories of struggle, perseverance, and personal success. Every year, America’s Service and Conservation Corps engage over 27,000 young adults in meaningful service projects that provides them with the job skills necessary to pursue a number of careers in the 21st century workforce.

The Corps Network’s new book, Join the Crew: Inspirational Stories of Young Adults in America’s Service and Conservation Corps, tells how over 60 current and former Corpsmembers experienced personal growth and adventure through Corps programs. The chapters in Join the Crew showcase stories of young people from all walks of life who joined Corps to build their resumes; make a fresh start; try something new (like wielding a chainsaw!); help support their families; or re-adjust to society after serving time. A special chapter written by Corpsmembers adds additional insight into how transformational and influential Corps experiences can be. Join the Crew shows how service in Corps programs can help recent graduates find a meaningful career path; help troubled teens find stability; help veterans readjust to civilian life; and help so many others build self-confidence and leadership skills.

Another highlight of The Corps Network’s work in 2013 includes a resolution we introduced in the United States House of Representatives to honor the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and its accomplishments in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the CCC’s creation.

This year, The Corps Network also helped sponsor the National Council of Young Leaders. Created in July 2012 in response to a recommendation from the White House Council on Community Solutions, the Council is tasked with informing policymakers, business leaders and funders about the issues faced by America’s young people. Council members come from diverse upbringings in urban and rural low-income communities across the nation. They represent our country’s Opportunity Youth: the 6.7 million young Americans who are neither in school nor working, but who offer enormous potential for our economy and our future if they are provided the opportunity to get on track. The Corps Network’s representation on the National Council of Young Leaders brings Corpsmembers to the table to discuss some of America’s most pressing youth-related issues, including access to higher education and fair sentencing in the justice system.

Each year, The Corps Network honors 6 Service and Conservation Corpsmembers whose accomplishments and personal stories exemplify the positive services Corps provide for individuals and communities across the nation. You can click here to read about our Corpsmember of the Year Award winners from 2005 to the present – without question, all of the young men and women who serve in Corps programs have fascinating stories to tell.

Corpsmembers of the Year are selected by members of our Corps Council and honored at The Corps Network’s annual National Conference in Washington, D.C. The Corps Network encourages the award winners to continue the legacy of Service and Conservation Corps through our Corps Ambassador Program. This program provides participants the opportunity to access a variety of communications channels, including the chance to have meetings with members of Congress and write op-ed’s for local and national media sources.

We would love your help to continue working on behalf of The Corps Movement! We hope you choose to Channel Your Inner Santa and give to The Corps Network.
 
Sincerely,

The Corps Network

Boiler Plate: 
We are excited to announce that everyone who donates (or has donated) to The Corps Network’s CrowdRise Holiday Campaign will be entered to win an 11 x 17 inch print depicting original artwork from Join the Crew.

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps Boosts Local Economy and Walkability of Vermont’s Capital City

Each year, working with the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTRANS), Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) utilizes federal transportation funds to employ more than 50 diverse youth who complete 24 weeks of work on community-based projects all over the state. These projects include work along rail trails, community transportation linkages, and other highly visible transportation enhancement projects. VTRANS has enthusiastically welcomed the partnership with VYCC as a way to introduce young people to the value of community service, diversity, education, job training, and the many rewarding careers in the transportation industry.

For the past 3 years, the Corps has been working on an important transportation project in Montpelier, the capital city of Vermont. The challenge was to help provide an improved route for employees working in the large National Life office complex to reach downtown Montpelier. The National Life complex houses Vermont’s third largest private employer, as well as over 1,400 Vermont State employees. Before construction of the National Life Trail, employees walking downtown from the National Life complex, as well as residents of an adjacent neighborhood, had to choose between following a mile long route along the side of a highly trafficked street, or taking a makeshift path straight down a steep hill, known as the “Goat Path.” Neither choice provided safe or accessible passage. The new trail transformed this tiny, eroded, and treacherous path into a beautiful trail and connected the city’s largest office building to the downtown area.

Given the high level of human activity within the area, as well as the very steep nature of the trail, the Corps and its crews were presented with new challenges in regard to safety, as well as the logistics of transporting large boulders and materials to build stone staircases. But ultimately, the 3 years of complex project work boosted the technical skills of VYCC staff and crewmembers in building trails.

More specifically, The National Life Trail project required the use of rigging, including a highline system for the duration of the project. All the stone for the site was imported from a quarry outside Montpelier and was brought to the project site by truck. It was then unloaded and transported downhill via mechanized equipment to a point where the slope became too steep. At that point the stone was transitioned to the highline system, lifted into the air, and dropped at its specific location on the trail, often in the exact location it was needed to create a step. The crew was “flying stone” in close proximity to a heavily traveled road and thus safety and control concerns were heightened throughout the project.

Across three summers, 130 large stone stairs were installed by 28 youth using specialized rigging equipment. These young people were trained through VTRANS’ support which enabled the VYCC to host two specialized rigging trainings for Crewleaders and staff members. Based on the success of this project and with the skills gained, the VYCC has more freely incorporated grip hoists and highline systems into other projects. Corpsmembers and Crewleaders on these crews were able to quickly learn the fundamentals and their use of a highline system furthered their technical skills experience.

Jessica Satterfield of Greenville, SC was one of the Corpsmembers who worked on the project. She has said that her greatest accomplishment was “independently leading the construction of a dry‐stack retaining wall at the lower terminus of the National Life Trail.” The technical and interpersonal skills Jessica gained from the project were a great addition to her resume and helped her to secure continued employment in the professional trail building industry. After completing her term of service with the Corps, Jessica was hired by Timber and Stone, a Vermont based professional trail building company.

Sherry Smecker Winnie, Recreational Trails Program Administrator for the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, & Recreation works in the National Life Office Complex. She says that “People here at National Life appreciate the trails.  I see folks every day getting outdoors onto the trails at lunch, to run, walk, or go downtown. At lunch I do a run or a walk on the trails. I can walk downtown in 5-10 minutes on this trail. I’ve used it to go to the State House, the Credit Union, to get a flu shot & to my favorite boutique. People use the trail to go to meetings downtown. Travel time is the same if you take a car. I get to save money for not having to pay for a parking space. I get fresh air, I don’t emit gas, I think more clearly & I get my daily physical exercise. It will be snowing soon enough & soon I’ll be using the trails to snowshoe & cross-country ski at lunch. And guess what? There’s even employees from different departments who sign up to volunteer to maintain the trails with National Life.”

The National Life Trail project is an example of how Corps can utilize funding streams from both public and private sources to better the environment and the community. By helping Montpelier residents access the downtown in a safer, more environmentally friendly manner, VYCC’s construction of the National Life Trail is certainly work that matters.

Orange County Conservation Corps Partners with Disneyland on Innovative “Adopt-A-Channel” Program

In California’s Orange County, over 350 miles of storm channels and urban waterways help transport rain and stormwater to the coast, where some of California’s most pristine coastal beaches and ecological preserves reside. Over time, however, the county’s storm channels and waterways were neglected, and considerably high levels of debris and trash accumulated within them. Graffiti also spread throughout the system of channels, creating a sense of urban decay that stimulated undesirable activities, including the growth of gangs.

Given global climate change and the uncertainty of future weather patterns, a powerful and sudden storm could flood the County if the channels remained clogged, negatively impacting and endangering over 3 million people, buildings, and valuable property—not to mention the currently intact and valuable coastal preserves and beaches. Something also had to be done to blunt the blight of graffiti and the threat of gang violence that the system of neglected channels helped propagate.

It was because of this dilemma, that a powerful member of Orange County’s business community got involved. Frank Dela Vera, Disneyland Resort’s Director of Environmental Affairs, has been credited with the conception of the “Adopt a Channel” idea. Working with Orange County Conservation Corps and other partners, Disneyland decided it wanted to pilot a program modeled after the successful “Adopt a Highway” programs that have become ubiquitous throughout the United States. The goal would be to remove debris and graffiti from the county’s channels.

They started with a two-mile stretch of the Anaheim-Barber City Channel flowing from the Disneyland Resort to the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, a coastal wetland that provides a home to numerous threatened and endangered species. With an investment of $50,000 from Disneyland, Orange County Conservation Corps (OCCC) would mobilize Corpsmembers to help make the project a success. But they also recognized the value of what additional partners could offer.

Personnel from the Orange County Department of Public Works, the agency that monitors the channels, helped mentor OCCC staff and Corpsmembers on crucial graffiti removal tactics, as well as safety procedures and best practices. In conjunction with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Corpsmembers were also trained to enter data into the “Tracking Automated Graffiti Reporting System” (TAGRS) computer program. The TAGRS system is an informational database containing photos of graffiti, listings of monikers, and identities of subjects identified through law enforcement contacts as possibly being involved with graffiti and other similar types of vandalism. Crews were trained and outfitted with a Galaxy Tablet II, connected into the TAGRS database. Corpsmembers would input data and photo journal the graffiti into the database program that will potentially link the criminals to the vandalism.

To date the results of the Adopt a Channel program have been impressive. Over 1,000 pounds of debris that otherwise would have been deposited into the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve have been removed. Crews have also abated over 15,000 square feet of graffiti from the 2 mile length of the channel. Vandalism in this channel has decreased by 90%.



Corpsmembers have also gained valuable job skills and personal satisfication for their contributions to the service project. One Corpsmember said “I feel a sense of pride knowing I’m keeping the ocean clean.” They’ve also helped make Orange County safer and more beautiful, and potentially deterred youth like themselves from joining gangs.

The pilot program has been so successful that Orange County has implemented the program county-wide. The primary benefit to adopters is demonstration of community engagement; setting an example for other organizations, businesses, and residents within the community to take ownership of their water resources and local coastal ecology. On an individual basis, each Adopter has the opportunity to positively impact their waterways by improving water quality and providing a healthier habitat for wildlife like great blue herons, osprey, pelicans, and (the most wonderfully named) shovelnose guitarfish.

Thanks to the publicity the innovative Adopt a Channel program has received from local TV stations and Disneyland, Orange County Conservation Corps has been strengthened by its own boosted visibility in the community. Since the official launch of the program, several large organizations have contacted the Corps to provide the restoration efforts in their adopted portions of the county’s channels. In addition to the $90,000 the program has generated for the organization’s benefit to date, the Corps estimates that the growth of additional partners will increase revenue by 10% annually, helping to further support the Corps’ efforts to hire, train, and educate more youth in the county. The Adopt a Channel program is a great example of how collaboration, a willingness to experiment, and clear goals can result in simultaneous benefits for communities, people, and the environment.

Fresno Local Conservation Corps Helps Prepare New Home for Veterans



After a decade of efforts to create a veterans home in Fresno, California, a $250 million home was completed in 2012 thanks to the collaboration of numerous California government agencies. The home includes an on-site bank, post office, chapel, store, barber shop, and even a miniature golf course. But because of California’s budget constraints, the home’s 300 rooms and 30 acre landscape sat virtually untouched for an entire year. With the opening planned for October of 2013, a custodian and groundskeeper were finally hired in June to maintain and restore the landscape and home. This mountain of work proved challenging for 2 people, and for that reason the Fresno Local Conservation Corps saw an opportunity to help both the veterans and their own Corpsmembers.

Using funds from a federal Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration grant, the Corps deployed 31 participants of their CORPS Program (Career Opportunities Reached Through Participation in Service), to help the California Department of Affairs ready the veterans home and its landscape. This task was aligned with the grant’s goals to help Corpsmembers earn their high school diplomas, earn industry recognized credentials, and give back to their communities. Many of the Corpsmembers had a background with the juvenile justice system, so a project where they could interact with and honor veterans – those who have sacrificed so much for our country –  was appealing.

Beginning in June, Corpsmembers worked at the home 25 hours a week. They started by helping to clean the home, which had a considerable amount of dust, dead insects, and other cleaning needs because of its time without maintenance. They also helped build and assemble furniture for the rooms.

The $5 million landscape, however, was where Corpsmembers perhaps made their largest impact. They helped trim back 30 acres full of overgrown grass and unruly trees and shrubs that were hard on the eyes and a potential fire hazard. After that was accomplished, they planted approximately 1500 flowers and also helped install 54 flag brackets to hold flags from families that wish to honor their fallen relatives who served.



As a culminating event, Corpsmembers helped setup and break-down over 2000 chairs for the grand opening of the home in October. The event was attended by many high-ranking military officials, community leaders, future residents, and government dignitaries, including California Governor Jerry Brown and U.S. Representative Jim Costa.

In total, Corpsmembers contributed 1,314 hours of service at the veterans home. The Corps estimates that the overall value of this time spent was worth $28,077. Beyond dollars and time invested in their own community, Corpsmembers also gained valuable experience by learning janitorial skills, furniture assembly, irrigation maintenance, tree trimming, and landscaping. Many of them also accrued significant hours that will contribute toward earning their AmeriCorps Education Awards, which will help them pay for future education like college. Two Corpsmembers have also been approached by the Fresno Veterans Home staff about applying for full-time positions. The Lead Groundskeeper for the home has said “Without the help of the Local Conservation Corps, I simply do not know what we would have done. There is no possible way that we could be where we are today without you.”

The great news is that Corpsmembers will continue to serve at the veterans’ home and have opportunities to build relationships with residents. The Corps will be providing all recycling services to the facility going forward, and will continue to help maintain the landscape. They are also planning for their Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service project to take place at the home, with assistance from the veterans living there. This is truly work that matters.

Meet The Corps Network's 2014 Award Winners!

We are very excited to announce our 2014 Award Winners! They will each be honored at our National Conference in February. Please click on the links to read their stories. 


Projects of the Year

Each year The Corps Network awards several noteworthy endeavors from Corps with Project of the Year Awards. Here are links to stories about this year's winners.

Orange County Conservation Corps Partners with Disneyland on Innovative “Adopt-A-Channel” Program

Fresno Local Conservation Corps Helps Prepare New Home for Veterans

Vermont Youth Conservation Corps Boost Local Economy and Walkability of Vermont's Capital City


Legacy Achievement Award

The Corps Network Legacy Achievement Award recognizes leaders with approximately 20 or more years of contribution to the Corps movement, who have served in a senior leadership position of a Service or Conservation Corps or multiple Corps, and who have made a significant contribution to the movement (e.g. founded a corps, brought a corps to scale, served for approximately 15+ years as ED/CEO of a corps, or who have made a significant national contribution through developing a national project). This year's winner's include

David Muraki
Executive Director, California Conservation Corps

Scott Weaver
Senior Vice President, Government & Agency Affairs, Student Conservation Association

Leslie Wilkoff
Director of AmeriCorps Programs, The Corps Network


Corpsmembers of the Year / Corps Ambassadors

Each year The Corps Network honors Service and Conservation Corpsmembers whose accomplishments and personal stories exemplify the positive role that Corps serve for individuals and communities nationwide. They help serve as Corps Ambassadors, or spokespeople for the Corps Movement. 2014 winners include

Jon Brito
Kupu / Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps

Edgar Galvez
Fresno Local Conservation Corps

Eliseo Nunez  
Urban Corps of San Diego County

Linda Santana
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps

Ruby Simonian 
California Conservation Corps

Candace Washington
Civicorps

Boiler Plate: 
We are very excited to announce our 2014 Award Winners! They will each be honored at our National Conference in February. Please click on the links to read each of their stories.

Channel Your Inner Santa: Advocate for Increased Federal Funding for Corps

As participants in the Crowdrise Holiday Challenge, The Corps Network greatly appreciates your donation to support our work cultivating the “Next Greatest Generation” of Americans. Each week, we will highlight some of our 2013 accomplishments. This week we will focus on our work advocating for increased federal funding for Corps and the next greatest generation. 

The Corps Network (TCN) continues to advocate for the participation of America’s youth in Service and Conservation Corps. Corps programs provide young people with access to education and job training opportunities that increase their chances for career and life success.

In 2013, TCN promoted both the Youth Corps Act and the Public Lands Service Corps Act as a part of our nationwide initiative to raise the profile of Service and Conservation Corps. 


The Youth Corps Act, H.R. 3061, expands the successful “Youth Corps” model to serve thousands more youth each year with education and job training that enables them to find meaningful employment, and instills in them a sense of civic engagement and environmental stewardship. The Youth Corps Act ensures that those most in need receive support services and experience positive outcomes, like enrollment in postsecondary education, acquisition of industry-recognized credentials, and career placement.

The Public Lands Service Corps Act (PLSCA) will help restore America’s natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational and scenic resources while promoting the value of service and training a new generation of public land managers and outdoor enthusiasts. The bill would authorize increased funding for this valuable program and encourage federal agencies to give preference to Corpsmembers when hiring for agency jobs. The PLSCA has been introduced in both the House and Senate and is expected to have a hearing scheduled soon.  

The Corps Network is also proud that we were awarded a grant by the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) to launch a new 
Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYSI) that will support low-income and disadvantaged youth as members of America's Service and Conservation Corps. As part of the initiative, Corpsmembers will complete environmental stewardship projects designed to increase access to open spaces and outdoor recreational opportunities, add economic value, and promote healthy lifestyles among both the OYSI members and the communities in which they serve. The program will operate for at least 3 years, engaging approximately 340 diverse youth and young adults ranging in age from 16-24. CNCS has made a commitment of $2.4 million for each of the first three years of this new AmeriCorps initiative. 

In addition, The Corps Network has been a strong 
advocate for Corps programs during budget cuts to federal spending, know as sequestration. A new study conducted by TCN about the many impacts of sequestration on Service and Conservation Corps indicates that sequestration will have a severe impact upon Corps programs and will reduce the number of young people to whom they can offer job training and educational development. The study was designed to identify the key areas affecting each Corps’ ability to operate and fulfill their multi-faceted missions. Sequestration’s impact is wide throughout The Corps Network, with 88 percent of respondents indicating they have been, or will be, negatively impacted.

As a final highlight, The Corps Network continues to advocate for increased federal funding for Corps nationwide by working closely with our partners to craft language for the 
Higher Education Bill, which would help youth programs obtain further funding for postsecondary education success initiatives. 

Please help us continue working on behalf of The Corps Movement! We hope you choose to Channel Your Inner Santa and give to The Corps Network.
 
Sincerely,

The Corps Network

Channel Your Inner Santa: Promote Education as a Pathway to Life Success

As participants in the Crowdrise Holiday Challenge, The Corps Network greatly appreciates your donation to support our work cultivating the “Next Greatest Generation” of Americans. Each week, we will highlight some of our 2013 accomplishments. This week we will focus on our education initiatives.

The Corps Network (TCN) continues to address critical needs in the American education system with the Postsecondary Success Education Initiative (PSEI). The PSEI promotes GED and Diploma achievement and guides participants in the college enrollment process. Helping Corpsmembers further their education is a focus for many Corps. For the large number of young people who drop out of high school, Corps can provide a vital alternative education opportunity. Corps help disconnected young people catch up in their studies and earn a GED or high school diploma. Some Corps operate charter schools and combine service-learning with workforce development opportunities. Other Corps programs employ dedicated teachers who help Corpsmembers gain marketable credentials.  

In 2013, Corps programs in The Corps Network achieved the following:

         * Almost 5,000 students received a High School Diploma or GED while in a Corps (43% of Corpsmembers did not already have a GED/HSD)

         * 30 days after completing time at the Corps, 67% of Corpsmembers were enrolled in an education program (college or high school)

Through the Postsecondary Education Success Initiative we have served 229 participants in the first year-and-a-half of programming.
           
        * 72% of participants who needed a GED or HSD received one (many are still enrolled and working towards it)

        * 72% of students have submitted an application to a postsecondary program; 40% have enrolled.
 
The Corps Network takes pride in our work connecting national service with scholarships through our AmeriCorps Education Award Program and the recently launched Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYSI). OYSI will engage low-income and urban youth of color in conservation service. Participants of OYSI are enrolled in academic programming designed to lead to a high school diploma or GED, as well as workforce development designed to lead to workforce skills and job opportunities. TCN is proud of the many opportunities that OYSI participants will gain, and is looking to further the reach of this initiative to provide opportunities to a greater amount of America’s youth.

Since the launch of our education initiative, The Corps Network and its member Corps have demonstrated a decreased need for developmental education and an increase in postsecondary enrollment and persistence. The Corps Network has fortified educational opportunities for many youth by partnering with College for America and other organizations that promote youth employment and opportunity. College for America provides online courses that allow Corpsmembers to pursue and earn an Associate’s degree enabling those students to pursue a greater number of careers and pathways to success. In addition, TCN is working with Corps by piloting Core Skills Mastery, an online adaptive-learning platform that is used to help teach Corpsmembers about problem solving as well as develop the skills that many employers seek.

Please support The Corps Network and help us give Corpsmembers the opportunity to have access to quality education and career success through our education initiatives. 

Channel Your Inner Santa and give to The Corps Network.
 
Thank you!

The Corps Network

Boiler Plate: 
As participants in the Crowdrise Holiday Challenge, The Corps Network greatly appreciates your donation to support our work cultivating the “Next Greatest Generation” of Americans. Each week, we will highlight some of our 2013 accomplishments. This week we will focus on our education initiatives.

Channel Your Inner Santa: Help us Train the Next Generation of Conservation and Community Leaders

As participants in the Crowdrise Holiday Challenge, The Corps Network greatly appreciates your donation to support our work cultivating the “Next Greatest Generation” of Americans. Each week, we will highlight some of our 2013 accomplishments. This week we will focus on our workforce development initiatives.

Continuing the legacy of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps, established 80 years ago, Corps develop the next generation of conservation and community leaders by engaging young people in educational opportunities and service projects that improve communities and help Corpsmembers build valuable job skills.

To bring greater attention to the efforts of these important job training and environmental conservation programs, in 2013 The Corps Network and our partners worked to create and launch a powerful 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC). The goal of the 21CSC is to put thousands of America’s young people and veterans to work protecting, restoring, and enhancing America’s great outdoors. We know the 21CSC has great potential. We will continue working on behalf of our members and America’s youth to make sure this initiative successfully engages as many young people as possible in conservation and service projects.

In 2013, Corps programs in The Corps Network have collectively:

* Created, improved or maintained 25,000 miles of waterways and trails

* Improved or restored nearly 200,000 acres of public lands

* Completed over 600,000 volunteer hours

The Corps Network is working to establish new partnerships that will strengthen and nurture new Corps programs and provide support to the Corps we already serve. We have continued our work with the National Association of Workforce Boards and are identifying more opportunities for local workforce investment boards to partner with Corps, thus establishing strong career pipelines for Corpsmembers.

We are proud to announce a new partnership with the Trust for Historic Preservation. The goal of this partnership is to establish HOPE crews (Hands-On Project Experience) that will match young people with historic preservation professionals, giving Corpsmembers the chance to gain experience in this growing line of work.

Thanks to a planning grant from the Walton Family Foundation, The Corps Network is exploring the possibility of establishing a Gulf Coast Restoration Corps that would be focused on accessing restitution funds from the BP Oil Spill to provide youth with jobs and workforce training that helps restore Gulf Coast ecosystems.

As a final 2013 highlight for this week, The Corps Network has established and launched a revamped accreditation program for Corps. This process will help continuously improve the programming of Corps by facilitating the sharing of best practices and fortifying the quality of our programs in the eyes of our partners and supporters.
 
We would love your help to continue working on behalf of The Corps Movement! We hope you choose to Channel Your Inner Santa and give to The Corps Network.
 
Sincerely,

The Corps Network

Boiler Plate: 
As participants in the Crowdrise Holiday Challenge, The Corps Network greatly appreciates your donation to support our work cultivating the “Next Greatest Generation” of Americans. Each week, we will highlight some of our 2013 accomplishments. This week we will focus on our workforce development initiatives.

Southwest Conservation Corps and CCC Legacy Celebrate Anniversaries Together in Tucson, Ariz

From Southwest Conservation Corps' E-Newsletter

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Legacy, Inc. held its national celebration of the 80th anniversary of the CCC in Tucson, Ariz. October 24-27. CCC alumni joined in the events along with other supporters, family, and friends.  Over the four-day event, alumni and participants heard from experts about the CCC's impact in Arizona, mingled with authors of books about the CCC, and celebrated with a service project at the Desert Museum.  Keynote speakers included Arizona Representative Raul Grijalva, US Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Robert Bonnie, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, and Corporation for National and Community Service Deputy Chief of Staff John Kelly.

The Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC), with an office in Tucson, co-hosted the event and also celebrated its 15th anniversary. 

SCC, an AmeriCorps program, enables a new generation to carry on the CCC's ethic of environmental stewardship.  Nearly 7,000 AmeriCorps members serve in this capacity nationwide, including 700 young people and veterans who serve with SCC each year.  Built on the legacy of the CCC, SCC embodies the same principles of hard work, lasting impact, and individual growth.

"We are thrilled to be in Tucson to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the CCC," said Joan Sharpe, CCC Legacy's President.  "Arizona has a strong history of conservation service, and Tucson is an ideal location to celebrate the six million men and the tremendous legacy they left for America."

"SCC is built on the legacy of the CCC, so it is an incredible honor for SCC to host this important national celebration," said Rob Spath, Executive Director of SCC's Arizona programs.  "Each year hundreds of young people and returning Veterans at SCC commit to improving recreation access, protecting communities from wildfire, and strengthening Arizona's national resources."

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