Heart of Oregon Corps hires 93 to Work, Earn, Learn

 

Taken From ktvs.com, http://www.ktvz.com/news/co-youth-conservation-corps-hires-93-to-work-earn-learn/33836274

C.O. Youth Conservation Corps hires 93 to work, earn, learn

 

BEND, Ore. -

Forget sleeping in on summer break; 93 teenagers across Central Oregon woke up a little earlier last week as they started work with the Central Oregon Youth Conservation Corps.

For the next seven weeks, they will be showing up at 7:00 AM with their hard hats donned and work boots laced, ready to work conservation projects on this region’s much loved public lands.

As corpsmembers, these young people will learn job skills, earn wages, and become the next generation of conservationists through projects that improve public lands and keep local communities safer from wildfire.

They will forge close bonds with their crew members, learn the importance of teamwork, and complete the program with a lifelong sense of pride at what they have accomplished. Many will echo the sentiments of former participant Erin who shared, “COYCC helped me to become a better person.”

This year, COYCC’s 18 youth crews are based Redmond, Prineville, Madras, Sisters, Bend, La Pine, Crescent and for the first time, Warm Springs.

This COYCC, a program of Heart of Oregon Corps, is a powerhouse collaboration that includes federal, state, private foundation, business, and individual support totaling almost $500,000.  It is one of the largest and most successful summer youth conservation corps programs in the country, and it is growing in size and scope each year. Unfortunately, demand continues to surpass the number of available jobs; 220 youth applied for the 93 positions.

Locally founded non-profit, Heart of Oregon Corps, partners with the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and the US Forest Service to operate this summer employment program that has become a rite of passage for local teens seeking summer work. 

In addition to a job, teens explore careers in natural resources, earn high school elective credits, and $1,200 AmeriCorps college scholarships. They attend a College Engagement Day at the program’s end to explore their next step.

Take 18 year old Dakota of last year’s program, who said the program encouraged him to check out the forestry program at OSU, and that he planned on applying to college next term.

Each youth can earn $2,600 in wages over 8 weeks.  All told, teens will be paid about $250,000 in wages that they then spend in their home towns, stimulating local economies.

This collaborative program is only possible with generous support from the US Forest Service, which must be matched with funding secured by Heart of Oregon Corps and COIC.  HOC is thrilled to announce the following substantial investments from the community to raise the needed match and make this program possible:

Grant Awards for 2015 Central Oregon Youth Conservation Corps Program

$30,000

Oregon Youth Conservation Corps

$29,000

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, “Developing the Next Generation of Conservationists” (1/86 national awards)

$17,415

United Way of Deschutes County

$12,000

The Collins Foundation

$9,000

The Facebook Data Center in Prineville

$7,500

The Autzen Foundation

$5,000

The Gordon Elwood Foundation

$5,000

The West Family Foundation

$5,000

PGE Foundation

$5,000

The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs

$2,500

The US Bancorp Foundation

$127,415

Total 2015 Grant Awards to Heart of Oregon Corps