New Conservation Service Corps Will Combat Unemployment

New Conservation Service Corps Will Combat Unemployment

By Molly, selected from TreeHugger

The  latest jobs report from the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics  has given  Americans little hope to believe that our country will emerge from  its  economic doldrums soon. This summer, however, one bright spot could   emerge.

Earlier this year, a Federal Advisory Committee appointed  by the Departments  of Interior and Agriculture commenced work on  creating a set of recommendations  to establish and implement a 21st century Conservation Service Corps modeled after the  Great Depression era Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). I am honored to serve on  this committee, and think it presents  an enormous opportunity for young men and  women, as well as veterans, to  serve their country at home in a beneficial way  for themselves and our  economy [Disclaimer: my views are my own and are not not  to be  interpreted as the views of the Committee].

For those who are not  familiar with its history, the CCC was a federal jobs  program that  enrolled young men nationwide in an effort to build parks, trails,  visitor centers, and complete conservation projects. In addition to  building a  significant portion of America’s parks and conservation  infrastructure, Corps  members received vital job skills and were paid  wages on a monthly basis, a  portion of which were sent home to their  families. During WWII, the CCC program  came to an end as federal  priorities shifted during wartime, and many CCC  members had already left  for jobs and to serve in the military.

It therefore seems  appropriate that as more of our troops return home today,  we put our  veterans’ training and expertise to use at home once more. According  to  BLS, unemployment crept up last month to 8.2 percent.  This number is even   higher for returning veterans (12.7 percent) and for youth (16.9 percent).   Additionally, in some low-income minority communities, unemployment rates   remain as high as 50 percent. The effects of long-term unemployment on these   Americans not only negatively affects their own lives, but has well-documented  impacts of significance on the national economy. In fact, unemployed young people are costing Americans billions of tax  dollars.

A  21st Century Conservation Service Corps would help to remedy this   problem, all while addressing a significant amount of deferred  maintenance on  America’s public lands in a cost-effective way. It’s  estimated that the  “backlog” of work that needs to occur in places like  national parks, national  forests, and on wildlife refuges exceeds $75  billion. One federal study showed  that Corps can complete the work at  56 percent of the cost that it would take  through other means. Of course, it’s  not entirely fair to say that this work  isn’t already occurring.  Claiming the historic CCC as their model, there is  already a network of  federal, state, and local nonprofit Corps that exists  nationwide,  enrolling approximately 30,000 young people annually. The national   AmeriCorps program has also helped to significantly benefit youth and   communities, and has proven to be a vital component of many Corps  programs.

The results of a recent six-year study evaluating the impact of  21 Corps indicated that they are effective:  educational enrollment and  employment by corps members increased from  50 percent to 67 percent over the  course of the study, and nearly two-thirds of  program participants (63.9  percent) said that their participation in a  Corps helped them secure a job, and  three out of four (77.1 percent)  said the experience gave them a job-hunting  advantage. These kinds of  benefits are in addition to the stipends and wages  that participants  receive and in turn, reinvest in local economies.

Some  examples of projects that are scheduled to occur this summer that would  be similar to projects completed by a future 21st Century Conservation  Service  Corps include: (1) the restoration of three ponds in the Angeles  National  Forest that provide habitat for the threatened California  red-legged frog by  the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, (2) the ongoing  repair of the eastern  boundary fence around Glacier National Park by the  Montana Conservation Corps,  (3) the work of Conservation Corps Minnesota  and Iowa to repair the essential  Feldtmann Ridge Trail of Isle Royale  National Park that allows visitors access  to the interior of the island,  (4) the restoration of historic CCC cabins and  prairie habitat by  American Youthworks’ crews in North Texas’s LBJ and Caddo  National  Grasslands, and (5) wildland firefighting and habitat restoration by   veterans fire corps operated by the California Conservation Corps,  Southwest  Conservation Corps, and the Student Conservation Association.

So  how can you help ensure that the vision for a 21st Century  Conservation  Service Corps becomes a reality? This week, the Federal  Advisory  Committee will submit its recommendations and report to Secretary of   Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. You can  urge  both of their departments to implement the Corps by writing emails,  letters,  and making phone calls. You can also contact your  Congressional representatives  and inform them that you support efforts  to implement this productive and vital  cost-saving effort. It will put  many more veterans and young people back to  work, boosting morale while  growing the nation’s short and long-term tax base.  It will also help to  restore some of America’s beloved national treasures.

Mary Ellen Ardouny is Interim CEO of The Corps Network, the national association of Service and  Conservation Corps.

 

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Have A Wonderful, Fantastic & Beautiful Thursday!

and y’all are going what broom did she fall off, lol! I haven’t woke up good yet this morning. I got up around 10:00 a.m., this morning. I don’t know what time I actually went to bed. We have a large chandlier in the living room. Not to mention I don’t know how many table lamps. Hubby gets his laptop and goes in the living room at night. He turns the chandlier on and flops on the love seat. The chandlier shines right into the bedroom and right into my eyes. I flew out of the bed and had a few chose words for him. He just  couldn’t undertstand why I was angry. He turned the light out and I went to bed at who knows what time?

There is just alot of stuff that has been building up to a boiling point in our happy home. My birthday is Saturday. I had planned on just me and hubby going out to eat and then catch a movie. Well my daughter called and she talked to her father about all of us going out. She is daddy’s little girl, so he said, “Yes, that would be fine. We will even pay for it.”  A 500 lbs. gorilla couldn’t have stopped me from going through the roof. I don’t know what he is thinking. Dumb bunny is drawing unemployment and we have a huge light bill due tomorrow. I have put the money back for the lights and he knows it. I told him yesterday if he thinks I am taking any of that money for us all to go out to eat, he’s CRAZY! I told him to tell “his” daughter that I’m not going. My daughter and son both work and they know their Father is laid off. To even suggest we all go out to eat, still makes my blood boiled.

Then hubby is mad at me because I told him something I saw and he told me I was CRAZY! (Notice a trend here, crazy is coming up quite a bit today, lol!) I had a dream about his job. The dream told me, he didn’t have a job anymore.  The job he took, the person who had it was fired. So hubby automatically moved up. The plant has an outage and this person showed back up. (The rule is once you are fired you don’t ever come back.) Hubby kept telling me the outage was coming to an end and he would be laid off for thirty days. The x-employee was still working when hubby got laid off. Hubby was thrilled to death. He was going to get 30 days off. He could get some stuff done he has meant to do for awhile. Thirty days have come and gone, no phone call and he still hasn’t got a damn thing done around here. The only thing he has accomplished is driving me crazy. He has his days and nights mixed up. He sleeps all day and he is up all night. Last night my furry baby and I went to town while he was asleep. I can’t get him to do anything. He won’t even get out of the house to ride to McDonald’s to get a milkshake. But back to the subject at hand, the x-employee was called back to fill hubby’s job. They are getting ready for an outage again, I told hubby what would happen if he goes. Now I am praying to the Goddess that something else opens up before that outage starts. He will walk in the warehouse. Sees his name plaque is off the door. Sees x-employee feet proped on his desk, he will get mad turn around and walk out the door. For those of you who have not drawn employment before, if you walk off a job your unemployment stops. You can get laid-off or fired and still draw unemployment. If you walk off the job, nothing. I told him that he knows the outage is coming up. Just check the caller ID and don’t answer the phone if it is any of them.  Needless to say, I have been feeling down about that.

Now for the wolf update, I know you missed it, lol! I had been making it a habit to stay inside at night. Then I got to thinking that is so stupid. I am not alternating my lifestyle. I am going back to doing what I use to do. I don’t know who is the biggest dummy around here! I grabbed my little pup and we ran to the store. It was dark when we left. I didn’t think a thing about it. When we got back I grabbed Kiki, my purse and a bag of ice and got out on the driver’s side.  I got all that inside and went back out. We have motion lights, so I was looking at my keys. Then I heard something, you can hear the wolf coming before he is actually up on you. I was already at the truck’s door. I fumbled and fumbled with keys. I could hear him and I knew he was about right on me. I had made my mind up that I was going to be supper for Mr. Wolf.  He came running right down the side of the truck. When he got to me he slowed down a little bit. Thankfully he was just slowing down to move around me. I felt his brisally hairs on my legs. He picked back up to the speed he was going when I first heard him. He went right straight out into the field after a coyote. Needless to say, my heart was beating about 1000. No telling what the old blood pressure was. But you can sit your clock every morning around 4:00 he is on the far side of our porch. I haven’t made up my mind yet if I want to try and get friendly with him or not. I am still pondering if that coyote wasn’t there, would he have come after me?

Well that is only bits of what has been going on in my life. I hope I haven’t bored you to tears. I hope everyone has a great day. If you get a chance get out and enjoy the day. It is gorgeous here. I am off for now…………

Blessings to you and yours!