Outdoor Corps looking to hire

Participants may complete work on state lands

People who love the outdoors and are looking for a temporary job can join the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps, which has hands-on projects slated for state lands in the Altoona region.

Blair County Conservation District Director Donna Fisher said she expects the program’s participants to complete projects that would otherwise not be possible.

“Those of us in the conservation field lack manpower. This is a win-win because oftentimes we don’t have money to implement projects. If we can have reduced cost labor or labor from a program, that pushes us over the edge to get projects done,” she said. “And from what I know, the program is an opportunity where youth can participate in outdoor projects and build not only their skills related to the environment but job skills so when they are done with the program they can find gainful employment.”

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps is in its third year and offers a 10-month program for young adults ages 18 to 25. Crews will work from February through November 2018 in cities statewide.

A six-week summer program for youth between the ages of 15 and 18 is also planned. Locations will be announced in early 2018.

Local projects are planned so far for Yellow Creek, Prince Gallitzin, Blue Knob and Trough Creek state parks, said Scott Carney, Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps coordinator.

“The crews will be doing projects involving trail work, invasive species, habitat enhancement and light construction,” Carney said. “We are looking to hire 54 people for the adult crews and 192 students for the youth crews.”

The corps is financially supported by the state departments of Conservation and Natural Resources and Labor and Industry.

State Rep. Frank Burns, D-Johnstown, is spreading the word about the corps.

“Besides hands-on job skills, the program provides learning opportunities in resource management, environmental issues and recreation skills,” Burns said in a written statement. “It’s a great opportunity for young people to get a start on their careers and to get paid while they learn.”

The program is part of a partnership with the national nonprofit Student Conservation Association, which manages the program. Outdoor Corps members will work 37.5 hours a week and receive $10.25 an hour and health insurance. Young crews get $10.15 and no health insurance. Daily transportation to and from the work sites, breakfast and lunch also are provided. The local Outdoor Corps office is in Pittsburgh.

More information, including how to apply, is available on its website, www.the sca.org.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.