Patrick Barnes of Limitless Vistas Pens Op-Ed about Gulf Coast Restoration and Job Training for Youth

Republished From from The Times-Picayune

With Restore money, Louisiana should strengthen coast and provide job training: Patrick A. Barnes

From oiled marshes and decreased oyster harvests to rising poverty rates and loss of livelihoods, Louisiana has suffered in many ways from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Soon, we will have a chance to repair and restore both our environment and our economy, as the Restore Act sends billions of dollars in Clean Water Act fines to the Gulf Coast states.

In a number of places across the coast, the debate of how to invest this money has pitted the economy against the environment. But instead of debating false choices, why not aim to pursue both? It's actually a simple proposition: We can create new job and business opportunities by focusing on restoring our coastal and marine ecosystems.

I'm proud to join a diverse group of business leaders from across the Gulf Coast -- from the Florida Panhandle to the coast of Texas -- who agree that we need to strengthen our region's traditional industries and create new opportunities by focusing on repairing our coastal environment. More than 120 companies, operating in more than 800 locations and generating more than $20 billion in annual revenues, delivered a letter to the five Gulf Coast governors to say that a healthy ecosystem is a key to driving private sector job growth and future prosperity and fostering economic mobility.

Louisiana, under the leadership of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), deserves significant credit for connecting the dots between a healthy coastline and a stronger economic and cultural future. The Louisiana Coastal Master Plan, the result of much hard work and the support of the Legislature, will invest the funds from the spill to advance this work. That represents a model for other states along the coast.

Restoring our coastal treasures can help tackle many economic goals, including drawing more visitors, promoting thriving fisheries and making our communities more resilient in the face of future storms and sea level rise. Projects like barrier island restoration, marsh creation or oyster reef construction create a demand for a wide variety of private sector companies in the engineering, construction, transportation and manufacturing sectors.

As the president of a regional engineering firm with offices in New Orleans, I've seen first-hand what Louisiana's commitment to coastal restoration means for this growing industry and for workers. One in 12 construction jobs in Louisiana is tied to coastal restoration, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission. Studies have found ecosystem restoration projects create between 17 and 36 jobs for every million dollars invested. These jobs run the gamut from coastal engineers and geologists to boat captains, welders and equipment operators.

In the state's master plan, our state's leadership has acknowledged the opportunity in these restoration jobs and expressed support for helping local workers gain the skills necessary to do them. This is the kind of integrated thinking we need. Many communities face significant economic obstacles; the region has suffered a sharp jump in poverty since the 2010 oil spill, and the decimation of the seafood industry has meant a serious loss of livelihoods. As a founder of the nonprofit Limitless Vistas Inc., I've worked for 20 years with disadvantaged and low income youth, giving them the skills necessary to get access to new, good-paying jobs in the environmental field. Many of these jobs do not require a four-year degree and are well suited for short-term applied and on-the-job training opportunities.

Similarly, business leaders across Louisiana and the region who supported this letter believe that our restoration plans could benefit from including efforts to prepare local, low income and disadvantaged workers for these new restoration jobs.

We have a chance to bring industry, communities and training institutions together to identify the necessary skill sets and training programs to prepare our state's workforce to conduct future restoration projects. Investing even a modest portion of Restore Act funds in this way can help address both the economic and environmental challenges and opportunities we face as a state and a region.

Patrick A. Barnes is a professional geologist, president of BFA Environmental and founder of Limitless Vistas Inc., a New Orleans-based nonprofit preparing at-risk youth for environmental jobs.

2013 Corpsmember of the Year, Luis Gaeta



 

Luis Gaeta admits that there was a time when he had trouble prioritizing and could barely stomach the idea of having to finish all four years of high school. He rarely went to class during his junior year and subsequently dropped out. Though the prospect of no longer attending classes initially came as a relief, it didn’t take long for Luis to discover that the working world can be a harsh place for a young man without marketable skills or a high school diploma. He worked in retail, had a job as a referee at a paintball facility, and also worked as a security guard, but he still struggled to make ends meet. Additionally, his housing situation was unstable and his car constantly broke down. Maintaining such a hectic pace was difficult, but Luis had to keep up; he and his girlfriend were expecting a child.

“With all of the different schedules and expectations, I was beginning to feel overwhelmed and discouraged,” said Luis.

Luis knew his lack of a diploma held him back from a more comfortable lifestyle. He started to attend adult school in the evenings, but then his girlfriend’s uncle mentioned something about EOC/Fresno Local Conservation Corps (LCC): a program that, as it was explained to him, would teach him construction skills and basically pay him to finish up his graduation requirements. Luis couldn’t pass up the opportunity. He applied for a Corpsmember position and impressed staff members when, during his intake interview, he said he wanted to be the kind of Corpsmember that steps forward and looks out for the crew. Luis was accepted to the program and soon proved that he is a man of his word.

Luis completed 14 credits towards his high school diploma within just two weeks with the Corps. He knew he was finally in the right place and doing the right thing for his future. It wasn’t long before he earned his diploma, having already earned two Student of the Month Awards and an honor roll award along the way.

In addition to gaining high school credits with LCC, Luis gained practical job skills in a variety of fields. He ultimately received training in all five of LCC’s programs: Construction, grounds maintenance, recycling, green building maintenance, and fatherhood preparedness. Among other accomplishments, he earned his class C driver’s license, first aid/CPR certification, and forklift operation certification.

“Along with my academic failures, I hadn’t had much work experience outside of the retail and customer service field,” said Luis. “I came into the program hoping to learn some construction skills. I was willing to take anything that was given to me…To my surprise, my first day out I was already on the roof installing the sheeting with my peers. This just blew my mind because I am the type of guy that has a passion for this kind of hands on labor. It came to the point that I, above the rest, showed an interest to learn any and all new things.”

After serving as a Corpsmember for a little over a year, Luis was offered a position as an LCC Senior Corpsmember. In this role, Luis – who now has a baby girl – became a peer mentor with the Corps’ Proving Our Parenting Skills (POPS) program. POPS helps fathers, ranging in age from 16 to 30, learn how to become confident parents and responsible figures in the lives of their children and partners. Participants in POPS must complete a comprehensive fatherhood curriculum, anger management classes, and relationship-building classes with their child’s mother. The fathers can also take advantage of POPS family activities, such as “Daddy Days,” that provide opportunities for children and fathers to interact through Zumba classes, reading nights, cooking classes, and other family-friendly activities. POPS Participants also have access to free diapers, children’s clothing, and picture books. Luis’s job as a Senior Corpsmember mainly involved handling the POPS outreach and social media efforts, but he also had the responsibility of acting as a role model for fellow young fathers working their way through the program.

“I enjoyed trying to help these young guys want to be fathers. They already wanted [to be, so that made it enjoyable],” said Luis. “It was in this program that I was exposed to the media for my role as a father. I started doing interviews on the KSEE 24 news station. Then I went on to being interviewed for a few other channels and an article.”

While assisting with the POPS program, Luis also helped facilitate LCC’s seven-week Emergency Preparedness certification course. He worked alongside Josh Christopherson, a fellow with Mission Continues; a program that helps veterans extend their service into civilian life. Josh and Luis ultimately led over sixty Corpsmembers through the Preparedness course.

 “Luis was my right hand man,” said Josh. “He did an excellent job as a role model and leader throughout the summer.”

Luis had a wide range of experiences during his time with the Corps, but he particularly appreciated receiving exposure to the construction trades. Through building Habitat for Humanity homes and completing vocational coursework through LCC, Luis found he was drawn to electrical occupations. The LCC staff took notice and encouraged this interest.

“My supervisor, Craig Henry, saw this and pushed my knowledge beyond its limits,” said Luis. “While most other Corpsmembers were outside shoveling dirt or leveling the ground, I was inside installing outlets, luminaries, and switches. I loved learning about all the electrical components of construction.”

Building off his interest in the electrical trades, Luis is using the AmeriCorps Education Awards he earned through his service with LCC to attend Fresno City College in pursuit of an associate’s degree in electronic systems technology. Even with his parenting responsibilities and a full-time job with the Corps, Luis maintained a 3.67 GPA during his first semester. He hopes to eventually transfer to California State University, Fresno to receive his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. 

“Although I had many obstacles thrown at me, I had a will power that couldn’t be overcome by any complications. I have a drive to get somewhere and be something big. I allowed my weaknesses to become the reasons why I became strong. Having all these obstacles gave me the desire for something better in my life [and the lives of my family members],” said Luis. “…I would like to mentor the future generations with my knowledge and experiences. I want to give back to the Corps what they gave to me. If this doesn’t work out, I am looking forward to getting an entry-level job in the electrical industry. I would like to get into a company that will take me from the bottom and build up my foundation of electrical knowledge to the most it can be…I know with the skills and experiences I’ve accumulated at the Corps, I will be there in no time.”

 

New laws will help revive the Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps

 

Some of the latest bills signed into Michigan law aim to modernize and expand the Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps (MCCC). Senate Bills 1261 through 1265 will broaden the scope of the Corps and facilitate the growth of partnerships that could lead to an increase in the number of Corpsmembers.

The new legislation will require the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to reach out to state colleges and universities that offer natural, cultural, and natural resource-focused curricula. The goal is to create university-based programs that provide college credit for students who participate in Corps, or that recognize student participation in Corps as field experience or internship experience. These measures would hopefully encourage college graduates to stay in Michigan and work for the MCCC.

Among other things, the Bills define the work that Corpsmembers will do (such as tree planting, waterway restoration, and trail development), and also define who can be considered eligible for Corpsmember positions (people no younger than 17 years old and no older than 27 years old on the day of their application). The legislation also gives the Department of Natural Resources the flexibility to purchase or rent property and equipment, and hire instructors, mentors, and other personnel necessary for implementation of the act. 

Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) hears about Youth Corps successes


Karla Cordova, 18, tells the Great Outdoors Colorado Board of Directors about her experience on a chainsaw crew with Weld County's GOCO Youth Corps. The GOCO Board held its quarterly meeting in Fort Morgan last week. From The Fort Morgan Times.

From The Fort Morgan Times - by Jenni Grubbs

The Great Outdoors Colorado Board of Directors heard about many issues at its quarterly meeting last week in Fort Morgan, including the Colorado Youth Corps and the upcoming state legislative session.

The Youth Corps program is something GOCO invested $1 million in during fiscal 2011. The funding was for a partnership between GOCO and the Colorado Youth Corps Association.

"The purpose of the funding was to both complete conservation service projects of interest to GOCO and provide employment, training and education opportunities to youth and young adults in Colorado," according to a staff memo to the GOCO Board.

Twnety-two projects received money from this $1 million grant, and 72 weeks worth of work were done in 20 counties.

At least 233 young people received employment in 2011-12 through the Youth Corps because of the GOCO grant, and 134 earned AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling $247,468.

During the 22 projects, youths constructed or repaired 21 miles of trails, cleared 6.6 miles of trail corridors, constructed or repaired 6,519 feet of fencing, planted or transplanted 5,673 trees and removed 6,121 trees. More than 22,900 hours of labor were put in by the youths in corps.

One Youth Corps member spoke to the board about her experiences working with the Weld County Youth Conservation Corps.

Karla Cordova was on the chainsaw crew working in Weld County in 2011-12.

"Being able to do service for the community is a pleasure," she said. "I love to learn and serve."

After having battled cancer and recovering from multiple surgeries, Cordova said she was looking for something to do with her life. She said she chose to join the Weld County Youth Corps "because there's always something to learn and do" while working with that group.

During her work with the Youth Corps, she earned certification in using a chainsaw.

She also split wood, planted trees and removed junk from the Poudre River.

"The program helps me to be responsible and learn," Cordova said. "It's so awesome."

Next, Cordova plans to attend Aims Community College in Greeley.

She advocated for the Youth Corps program to the GOCO Board.

"I truly believe our program helps a lot of people who need it," she said.

GOCO Board President James Smith said he was happy Cordova chose to speak to the board.

"It's a wonderful thing to hear from the participants that it's changing their lives and making a difference," he said.

Jennifer Freeman, Colorado Youth Corps Association executive director, explained to the board that for each job in the Youth Corps, there are nine people like Cordova waiting to fill it.

The board members asked Freeman if more projects could be added and jobs created if the funding were available.

"We don't have any trouble scaling up," Freeman said.

She said that the GOCO grant funds jobs for people ages 14-25 as members of the Youth Corps. Those jobs can be trail maintenance, weed and diseased-tree removal, tree planting, fencing, drainage work, river restoration, new trail construction and lots more.

The Colorado Youth Corps Association (CYCA) is a statewide coalition of 10 accredited youth conservation corps that employ and train youth and young adults on land, water and energy conservation projects. For more information about CYCA or the statewide youth corps coalition, visit CYCA.org

The GOCO board approved continuing to fund the Colorado Youth Corps.

Legislative update

Lobbyist Adam Eichberg, who represents GOCO's interests at the Capitol, told the board about what he expects to see come up at the legislative session that starts in January.

But first he pointed out that November's election results "significantly impacted the shape of the legislature," with Democrats controlling both chambers of the General Assembly and new leaders, including state Sen. Pres. John Morse, whom Eichberg called "a friend of GOCO" and state Senate Majority Leader Morgan Carroll.

In the state House, new Speaker Mark Ferrandino was someone Eichberg said was a "Denver liberal" who "doesn't quite get what we do," but that House Majority Leader Dickey Lee Hullinghorst would be "good for GOCO."

"I think that's going to be beneficial for us," Eichberg said. "The funding source will be protected, I think."

GOCO primarily gets its funding from the Colorado Lottery Funds, which the state legislature could decide to redirect to other state needs during the budget process.

Eichberg also told the board that members of the Joint Budget Committee, which is made up of both state House and state Senate members, would have new members who all likely would be good for GOCO.

They include: Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver; Sen. Mary Hodge, D-Brighton; Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs; Claire Levy, D-Boulder; Cheri Gerou, R-Evergreen; and Crisanta Duran, D-Denver.

"We're in good shape with the JBC," Eichberg said.

But he added that it was expected that "someone would go after the (GOCO) funding source again. Our hope is again to kill (such bills) in committee."

He said he was "optimistic" that GOCO lobbyists would be able to do that in 2013.

Eichberg also said the he would be keeping an eye on a bill concerning conservation easement tax credits, as well as other bills concerning open space and caps on donations and tax credits for conservation.

"Every year there is some surprise," Eichberg said. "I think it will be a very interesting session for John Hickenlooper. The House Democrats are new. They're in power for the first time in 10 years. I think there will be a good partnership, but there will be some challenges."

He said that Hickenlooper will have to work hard to avoid the problems former Gov. Bill Ritter had with the priorities of members of his own party in the legislature.

The new legislative session begins on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013.

--Contact Jenni Grubbs at jgrubbs@fmtimes.com.

Harpers Ferry Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center Congratulates Graduates



Photo by Holly Shok of The Journal

Taken from The Journal - written December 8, 2012

SHEPHERDSTOWN - The U.S. Forest Service Harpers Ferry Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center graduated 95 students on Friday.

Students, who were required to have a high school diploma or GED to finish, received a certificate of completion and career technical training certificate from Harpers Ferry Job Corps Center at the ceremony, hosted at Shepherdstown's National Conservation Training Center.

"This is the beginning of education and training for the rest of your lives," Center Director Ralph DiBattista said addressing the graduates. "Congratulations on a job well done thus far."

The graduation address was made by recent retiree of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dr. Mamie Parker, president of MA Parker and Associates. Parker encouraged graduates to avoid, what she terms, the four cancers of life: criticizing, complaining, negatively competing and comparing. Parker, who was the first African-American to serve as the FWS Regional Director, detailed her story of success, which included various ups and downs.

"You, graduates, are certainly braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think," she said.

Harris Sherman, undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment, U.S. Department of Agriculture, also addressed the graduates.

"Let me just say that ... you should feel so proud of the achievement you have made here," he said. "I know that a lot of you have overcome adversity. You have rolled up your sleeves, you've worked hard, you've put your shoulder to the wheel. You all have faced a variety of challenges that a lot of young people your age have not had to face."

"I just want to salute you," Sherman said. "I hope you will savor this moment, you'll look back on this moment, you will realize how proud you should be of yourself for everything that you have been able to accomplish. Congratulations to you."

Keith McIntosh, representative of U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, spoke on behalf of the senator. Manchin also addressed the graduates via video clip.

Special awards were presented by Mike Grove of Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia. Additional outstanding student awards were presented to Darren McIntyre Jr., Career Technical Training Award; Melody Self, Academic Student of the Year; Brandon Perry, Residential Student of the Year; Terrance Pearman, Counseling Award; and Richard Johnson, Student of the Year.

"My fellow graduates, today is one of the most successful days of our lives, because we achieved our goal," Johnson announced to the class of 2012. "Every four years, America needs a new president who can lead our country in the right direction - that president could be you. You have taken the right step at Job Corps. Don't stop now."

The Harpers Ferry Job Corps Center was initiated as part of President Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty.

 

 

TCN Staff Attend Annie E. Casey Foundation Event on Youth Employment Crisis


On Monday morning, several members of The Corps Network staff attended an event hosted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Patrick McCarthy, President of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and an expert panel discussed many of the challenges that young people face in a time of scarce jobs, and the enormous value that programs that help youth can serve. Jamiel Alexander, a member of the National Council of Young Leaders and a representative of YouthBuild USA, introduced a short video.

Our partners at Spark Action have produced an excellent write-up about the event that we recommend. It includes a link to watch a recording of the event in its entirety.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation also released a new report in conjunction with the event titled Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity. 

Click here to download and read the full report

Where are they now? – Catching up with 2011 Corpsmember of the Year, De’Andre Alexander

 

De'Andre Alexander, a former member of Operation Fresh Start, won Corpsmember of the Year in 2011 for his commitment to service and self improvement. Read below to find out what he's been up to since accepting his award, or find out more about De'Andre and his Corps experience by reading his bio from our 2011 national conference.

De'Andre Alexander, a 2011 Corpsmember of the Year, currently apprentices as an ironworker. After he finishes the 4-year apprenticeship, he wants to take night classes and hopefully earn his bachelor’s degree. He dreams of becoming a firefighter or perhaps working with Operation Fresh Start, the Corps that helped him get back on his feet. As De’Andre says, his life would be very different today had he not found Operation Fresh Start.

“I would probably be working at a restaurant or be in some job that doesn’t have a lot of benefits and I wouldn’t get paid as well as I do now,” said De’Andre. “I wouldn’t say I would be as immature as I was [before], but I’m sure I wouldn’t be as mature as I am now. I definitely wouldn’t have the skills I have now. I’m sure without Operation Fresh Start I would be nowhere.”

De’Andre, who is now 22 years old, joined Operation Fresh Start in June 2009. He had recently been released from jail for an armed robbery he committed in 2007. With a felony on his record, De’Andre found it very difficult to find a job. Operation Fresh Start gave him a chance. While in the program, De’Andre gained carpentry skills, learned how to be a reliable employee, and completed a few college credits. Most importantly, he learned how to manage his anger.

“Not only did they teach me carpentry, but they taught me how to work. They taught me how to act in a workplace,” said De’Andre. “At the time I was still a kid. If I hadn’t gone to Operation Fresh Start I probably would’ve gotten a job, and who knows? I could’ve gotten fired just because I didn’t have that work ethic in me yet. Doing carpentry definitely made me tough as I am now as far as being a hard worker and willing to take on tasks.”

De’Andre says that what made the Operation Fresh Start program such a good fit for him was the caring staff. He feels that many of his teachers in high school were not invested in the students or didn’t push him hard enough. At Operation Fresh Start, De’Andre was motivated by being surrounded by supervisors and instructors who were attentive and obviously passionate about their work.

De’Andre says that Operation Fresh Start helped him become a calmer, more accepting person. Counselors at OFS taught him ways to control his actions and his words, and working in a crew with his fellow Corpsmembers helped De'Andre learn important teamwork skills.

“One thing I learned at Operation Fresh Start was that you have to learn how to work with all types of people,” said De’Andre. “If your coworker is different from you, you can’t change them. You have to learn how to work with them. Working at Operation Fresh Start there were a lot of guys I wouldn’t even have hung out with in high school. Working on the crew I learned that it doesn’t matter who they are. You need to make the best of it and learn more about them. That’s what’s going to make the world an easier place.”

These days De’Andre takes pride in the things he helps build as an ironworker. He says he knows he’ll produce his best work possible if he thinks of his projects as his own buildings. Though De’Andre enjoys his apprenticeship, he sometimes misses carpentry. He continues to volunteer with construction crews at Operation Fresh Start whenever he can. When his schedule permitted, he spent entire days volunteering with OFS. He says he loves getting to meet the new Corpsmembers and offer them advice.

De’Andre’s younger brother is currently enrolled in Operation Fresh Start. He says his brother also sometimes struggles with anger management issues. At one point his brother dropped out of the program. As De’Andre said:

“He didn’t want to go back, but I told him, ‘You got to go back. Without Operation Fresh Start you’re not going to learn the skills you need to survive in the real world.’ And then he decided to go back and I just told him to stay tough, do what your supervisors tell you and keep your head on your shoulders. It’s definitely worth it.”

 

 

 

2010 Project of the Year: Green Jobs for Veterans

Winner: Southwest Conservation Corps

The prolonged military deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq are resulting in hundreds of thousands of returning veterans in search of work. This highly trained and disciplined workforce needs meaningful work emobodying the ethic of service that brought them into the military. Their significant assets combine with significant challenges: combat trauma and the stress of deployment too often result in tragedy, including suicide rates as high as 120 per week.

Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC) has partnered with Veteran Green Jobs (VGJ) to create the Veterans Green Corps (VGC), an all-Vertan Conservation Corps. SCC employes Veteran Corpsmembers and crew leaders to mobilize crews in conservation projects on public lands. VGJ provides wrap-around supportive services including recruitment and screening, benefits coordination, post-program placement and follow-up, and professional develepment.

Most important are the impacts on the participants - some say that working and living among trees and streams helps alleviate their post-traumatic stress. Others find new careers in forestry and mental health professions. The US Forest Servce Region II awarded SCC, in partnership with VGJ, $868,000 of ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvesment Act) funds to operate 12 VGC crews; SCC operated three of those crews in 2009, employing 25 military veterans, and will operate the remainder in 2010 and 2012. 

2010 Project of the Year: Making Low-Income Denver Homes More Efficient

Winner: Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC)

In 2009, Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC) diversified and expanded its operations - and the result was a gigantic savings of energy - and energy costs - for residents who needed it most. Low-income single family and multi-family units in Denver with high energy bills received no-cost energy audits and retrofit services. Four days a week, 10 months of the year, teams of Corpsmembers audited homes, installed compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL), high-efficiency shower heads (SH) and sink aerators and conducted energy and water use assessments.

MHYC served over 25,000 CFLs, 2,000 SHs and 5,000 sink aerators - which typically led to a 20 - 30 percent reduction in client utility costs. These measures will reduce energy use by 3,000,000 kWh over their life-cycle, reduce emissions of CO2 equivalents by 5,500,000 pounds, and lead to water savings of over 48,000,000 gallons.

Audit data sent to local weatherization partners and Denver Water enabled them to connect over half of the clients to more extensive no-cost services: replacement of ineffiecent toilets, refrigerators, furnaces and/or installation of improved insulation in their homes. Also, Corpsmembers have received job training, energy and environmental education and community service hours - enabling them to succeed in the burgeoning energy economy.

2010 Project of the Year: Neighborhood Youth Center in Fresno

Winner: EOC/Fresno Local Conservation Corps

Bursting at its seams, with waiting lists in excess of 400, EOC's Fresno Local Conservation Corps took a major risk - constructing a community campus, the Neighborhood Youth Center (NYC). What drove the project was the desire to make a one-stop beacon of hope in an area the Brookings Institution ranked among the highest concentrated poverty in the nation - and to have it designed and planned by Corpsmembers.

Corpsmembers surveyed 1,000 local residents to determine which services were needed, ranking them by importance. From the survey the Corps engaged architects to design a campus with an NBA-sized gymnasium, weight room, and community meeting facility; a child care facility with capacity for 80 Corpsmember children; a vocational training facility to teach solar installation, welding, recycling, and construction applications; and a headquarters facility complete with a 40-station computer lab, space for seven classrooms, and the Corps' administrative offices. The services co-located at the NYC include counseling delivered by masters-level supervised interns from Fresno State University, WIC, WIA One Stop Training, the YouthBuild Charter School of California, Fresno City College, a Career Center, AFLN, and EOC health screening services.

Staff moved into the 60,000 square foot, $16 million complex in September 2009. 

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