New Publication highlights how Corps and Workforce Boards can form Partnerships


“Snapshot: Youth Corps and Workforce Partnerships” helps Corps and workforce systems see each other as assets in the shared mission to reconnect millions of Opportunity Youth.

Aquatic Restoration Training Reaches Corps in 16 States!

Act Now… Time Is Running Out!

Washington, DC – The Corps Network’s Waders in the Water live, online webinar training and certification is filling-up fast.

Industry Support Grows for Restoration Private-Public Partnership

Corps Network Vice President Marie Walker (C) and NJYC Phillipsburg members participate in a Waders in the Water class. To view video, go to:
Washington, DC – August 28, 2014 - Aquatic restoration businesses continue to express excitement as Youth Corps nationwide are receiving training and certification for climate-ready aquatic restoration. Graduates of the Waders in the Water training program, created by The Corps Network and Trout Headwaters Inc., will be skilled in aquatic safety, knowledgeable about installation techniques, and ready to provide business and government reliable restoration on streams, rivers and wetlands across the U.S. This industry-recognized credential will build important bridges to enable youth to enter conservation careers by learning how to improve the health, productivity, and climate-resiliency of our streams, rivers, and wetlands.

Trout Headwaters President Mike Sprague said: “I’ve been impressed by the excitement from businesses and government alike who have long wished for such a trained and skilled national workforce. It’s very gratifying to see such widespread support for this important program.”

Doug Lashley, CEO of GreenVest LLC and immediate Past President of the National Mitigation Banking Association, the leading organization in the country engaged in ecological restoration and conservation banking says “this movement presents an incredible opportunity to engage the youth of America to help reverse trends and conditions that impact our waters, streams, rivers and all forms of biodiversity.” Lashley added “Educating youth at an early age on best management practices and an appreciation of the environment will equip them for future jobs in the outdoors, enhance local economies, and most importantly, encourage an appreciation of the restoration of water quality impacting all forms of life. Corporate America can help support this opportunity through Public Private Partnerships as a method of complying with their growing internal sustainability initiatives. It is an investment with no limit on the returns.”
Building on the great traditions of the Civilian Conservation Corps since 1933, the Waders in the Water training and certification was built to further the goals of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps which aims to have 100,000 young people and veterans working to improve public lands and waters everywhere.
Youth Corps believe this training will enable their members to be hired for projects previously unavailable to them. Because Waders in the Water offers professional training from a third-party industry expert, clients can be confident in the quality of the workforce they are contracting.
Director of the New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg (NJYCP) Michael Muckle said “I see this program improving not just the quality of our environment, but the quality of the lives of the people in service”. Muckle went on to say “While implementing streamside restoration measures might seem like trying to control the chaos of the natural order of things, we hope to show the participants that by making substantive, small improvements, the ripple effect downstream – literally and figuratively - are sometimes exponential.”
Trout Headwaters, Inc.

Trout Headwaters Inc. is the industry leader in sustainable approaches to stream, river, and wetland renewal and repair. As one of the oldest firms in the industry, THI has pioneered approaches using natural materials and native vegetation that can reliably replace hard, invasive treatments that often damage our nation’s streams and rivers. Besides developing and refining new techniques, THI is a staunch advocate for greater sharing of information and more consistent use of assessment and monitoring tools, providing greater certainty of environmental benefits to restoration.
Luke Frazza, Project Development, Trout Headwaters, Inc.
New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg

Founded in 1998, New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg provides municipal support to the Town of Phillipsburg, NJ while offering hundreds of youth the opportunity to earn their GED as they serve their community. NJYC Phillipsburg’s conservation projects have included urban tree planting, Delaware River clean-ups, riparian buffer restorations, and assistance with the ecological maintenance of the White Lake Natural Resource Area and other Warren County properties.

Michael Muckle, Director, New Jersey Youth Corps of Phillipsburg
(908) 859-2969


Boiler Plate: 
Washington, DC – August 28, 2014 - Aquatic restoration businesses continue to express excitement as Youth Corps nationwide are receiving training and certification for climate-ready aquatic restoration.

The Corps Network to Participate in National Association of Workforce Board's 2014 Forum

The Corps Network is pleased to join our partners at the National Association of Workforce Boards for their 2014 Forum!

On Monday, March 30th at 4pm EST, Tyler Wilson, The Corps Network's Director of Government Relations will lead a workshop titled "Career and Community Ready: Service Corps and Workforce Investment Boards." The workshop will describe how in In 2013 The Corps Network collaborated with and supported the National Association of Workforce Boards to research the current state of how Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) and Conservation Service Corps are working together.  Through a series of 30-90 minute interviews in 15 unique locations, the research yielded promising practices as well as issues to address. Join the workshop to learn more about how Corps and WIBS can collaborate to maximize opportunities for youth and young adults.

Our staff will also be available during the Forum's "Partner Exchange" to answer questions about Corps and talk about their impressive impacts.

To learn more about the NAWB Forum, speakers, and workshops, please click here.

Boiler Plate: 
The Corps Network is pleased to join our partners at the National Association of Workforce Boards for their 2014 Forum! Learn more about the workshop we will host as well as our participation in the "partner exchange."

Service and Conservation Corps Will Soon Add “Waders in the Water”

The Corps Network is working with Trout Headwaters, Inc. on a new training program to put “Waders in the Water.”  THI president Michael Sprague (pictured) says his company is looking forward to readying America’s youth and veterans for work along our waterways. 

The Corps Network and The Corporation for National and Community Service Launching New Opportunity Youth Service Initiative

Urban Corps of San Diego Corps-to-Career Department Averages 70% Grad Placement


Corps-to-Career Averages  70% Grad Placement 

Employer Partnerships Build Opportunities for Youth

Taken from  the Urban Corps of San Diego newsletter, The Corps Supporter, Spring 2013

The Corps-to-Career department at Urban Corps is averaging a placement rate of 70% among Corpsmembers from our last two graduating classes. Staff attribute the high placement rate to successful partnerships with local employers in business community which help place graduates in positions which suit their interests and skill sets.

"Graduationis an exciting time for our seniors, however the transition can be stressful without a solid job lined up," says Director of Student services Myrna Contreras. "That is why we actively work to establish relationships with employers and help our youth research careers, colleges, and connect with employers before they leave Urban Corps. We do everything we can to ensure their post-program success." 

Companies partnering with Urban Corps offer job shadowing, participate in job fairs, present career information, recruit graduates, or simply communicate job openings.

Among those partnered with UCO is Grondin Construction, a family-owned and operated firm specializing in general contracting, lead abatement, and independent living modifications.

“We have worked with Urban Corps youth on job sites, and as a result, have hired four Corpsmembers over the years,” says Grondin co-owner Caroline Grondin. "We know that when we hire a Corpsmember we are getting a staff member who has participated in a year-long training program, proven their work ethic, and attained valuable skills. Often times they have experience working directly alongside Grondin team members. Our hope is to strengthen this partnership and create a Corpsmember hiring stream with job skills directly suited to our needs.”

Additional valued partnerships exist with the Goodwill, Nuera Contracting & Consulting, American Insulation and the Downtown San Diego Partnership.

The Corps-to-Career Dept. at UCO helps Corpsmembers transition with employment, enroll in college,  and actively seek partnerships with employers. Since the March 2013 graduation in which 27 received diplomas, 17 have been placed in gainful employment and two have been placed in grant/scholarship funded training programs.

(There are many advantages to partnering with UCO to help fulfill staffing needs. Contact UCO Job Developer Geneva Karwoski in the Corps-to-Career Dept. to find out more about setting up an employer partnership. Phone (619) 235-6884 ext 3119 or email

What is the Common Core Initiative?


This week, members of The Corps Network staff attended an AEI (American Enterprise Institute) research conference on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The Common Core is an education initiative to align K-12 curricula across the country. The goal is that every student will receive a meaningful high school diploma that guarantees they have a certain level of ability that would be expected in college or desirable to an employer (see below for more information on what the Common Core State Standards entail).

So far, 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the initiative. With the new Standards, states will be required to administer new assessments to measure student achievement. Though a test has not been created, the first formal assessment is expected to happen as soon as the 2014 – 2015 school year. This compressed timeline leaves many educators questioning whether the Standards will be effectively implemented and how successful CCSS will be. 

Panelists at the AEI event came to the conclusion that implementing the initiative will face a number of challenges as it interacts with existing school policies and other education reform initiatives. Issues and concerns the panelists discussed included: 

  • How will charter schools react to the Initiative? Charter schools are somewhat based on the idea that standardized schooling is flawed. Will charters reject the Common Core Standards out of fear that it would restrict their freedom to choose their own curriculum and teaching methods? Or, since all states and districts will be more closely aligned under the Common Core, will charter schools embrace the standards as a way to prove their methods are more effective than those used in mainstream schools?
  • The Common Core requires teaching a certain level of computer skills (keyboard use, etc.), and it seems likely that new state assessments will be administered on computers. How will this affect the already large “technology gap” between poor schools and wealthy schools?
  • Though implementation of the Standards is still just beginning, schools will begin formally testing students to see if their achievement levels have changed. How will we know if these assessments are really measuring student achievement in ways similar to how states measured achievement in the past? How soon will schools start looking at test results when making high stakes decisions about teacher hiring and firing?
  • Are teaching schools keeping up with the changes? Are teacher training methods reflective of the Common Core State Standards?
  • How will teachers respond to the Standards? Will they need to change any of their teaching methods? How will they react to working closely with other teachers?
  • CCSS places an emphasis on making sure students are exposed to increasingly difficult texts throughout their educational career. The Standards also require that students learn how to really interact with a text and analyze it, rather than just write about how the text makes them feel. Are students at a level where they are capable of handling this transition? 

What is the Common Core State Standards Initiative?

It is an education initiative that follows the idea that all students across the country should have a common core of knowledge that prepares them for higher education or the workforce. A high school diploma from any school, city, or state should guarantee that the recipient is literate and can compete in the job market. Historically, states have had vastly different standards for what a competent student should be able to do and understand; CCSS seeks to bring these standards into alignment.

There are currently Standards for math and English language arts (Standards for science and social studies do not exist yet). They were released in June 2010 and most states adopted them within a few months. States that adopted the Standards or a similar college and career readiness curriculum were eligible for federal Race to the Top Grants. All states that adopted the initiative plan to have 85 percent of their curricula on the Standards by 2015.

The CCSS initiative is more about prescribing what a student should be able to do rather than saying students should know specific facts or texts. For example, there are no reading lists to accompany the reading standards; rather, students are simply expected to read a wide range of classic and contemporary work that challenges their ideas and perspectives. 


California Conservation Corps Partners with Cuyamaca College for Green Job Training

From Scoop San Diego

Well known as a leader in all things green, from its sustainable landscaping and energy-efficient buildings to its green-career training programs, Cuyamaca College’s latest venture has youthful members of the California Conservation Corps excited about green jobs.

A pilot program put together by the college’s Continuing Education and Workforce Training Division recently linked the CCC’s San Diego center with San Diego Gas & Electric Co., providing 24 corps members 116 hours of introductory experience and training in a variety of job fields in the sustainability sector: green building retrofitting and performance, energy auditing, home-energy rating and solar photovoltaic installation.

Providing the training were local business owners in the solar panel industry, a construction company safety director, and faculty from Cuyamaca College’s Environmental Health and Safety Technology program.

Financially backed by the state chancellor’s office along with SDG&E, the training program proved so successful, with nearly 100 percent completion, that a new CCC class is being scheduled this spring.

College president Mark J. Zacovic said the program is an example of the college’s progressive philosophy of preparing today’s workforce for tomorrow’s jobs.

“We’re ecstatic over the success of this pilot program, and we’re delighted to continue to offer this class with Workforce Innovations Partnership grant funds from the state,” he said.

Molly Hughes, program manager for the college’s Workforce Innovations Partnership, also known as the Green Ventures Project, praised corps members for sticking with the pilot program through completion.

“The corps members worked their regular jobs helping protect our environment, then came to the college all day Fridays and Saturdays on their own time for three months to learn about sustainability,” she said.

Continue Reading at Scoop San Diego