Service and Conservation Corps prepare young people for jobs and careers. Since the time of the Great Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps to the modern day, this has been one of the principal goals of Corps programs.
Service and Conservation Corps address the challenge of youth unemployment head-on. By completing meaningful service projects, Corpsmembers gain hands-on work experience, build confidence, and develop skills in leadership, conflict resolution, and problem solving. Many Corpsmembers also earn industry-recognized credentials in a variety of fields.
Green Jobs and Careers
Service and Conservation Corps help prepare young people for work in the growing green sector. Many Corps offer training programs that allow Corpsmembers to earn industry-recognized credentials in energy auditing, green construction, hazardous material abatement, solar panel installation, wilderness firefighting and trail construction.
Read our 2011 publication A Green Career Pathways Framework: Postsecondary and Employment Success for Low-Income, Disconnected Youth.
Through a partnership between The Corps Network and Trout Headwaters, Inc. (THI) – an industry leader in sustainable stream, river and wetland restoration – member organizations of The Corps Network can offer their Corpsmembers Waders in the Water: a training program that prepares Corpsmembers for jobs in aquatic restoration.
A growing number of Corps are involved in restoring historic properties. The Corps Network works in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to operate the Hands On Preservation Experience (or HOPE Crew) program. Under the guidance of skilled craftspeople, Corpsmembers learn preservation techniques and gain hands-on experience in carpentry, masonry, roofing, re-pointing, painting and a range of other skills associated with preserving historically significant buildings and landscapes.
Corps teach Corpsmembers specialized job skills needed in a range of environmental career fields. In addition to providing “hard skills” training, the Corps model (a crew of peers working together under experienced crew leaders and mentors) helps Corpsmembers develop the basic “soft skills” needed to obtain and keep a job. Corpsmembers learn the importance of being on time, wearing appropriate clothing, working in teams, and practicing productive communication skills. Many Corps also help Corpsmembers prepare résumés and practice interviewing.