Obama Administration Announces $6.7 Million to Hire Young People to Work on Public Lands Across the Nation
For Immediate Release
May 22, 2014
Secretary Jewell Joins Groundwork Denver, Youth Corps Members at Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge, Site of One of 43 Projects Winning Grants
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – As part of the Department of the Interior’s ambitious youth initiative to inspire millions of young adults and veterans to play, learn, serve and work in the great outdoors and the President's 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Initiative, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced $6.7 million in grants to support conservation employment and mentoring opportunities at 43 projects on public lands across the country – a 60 percent increase over last year’s funding.
The grants, the latest in the Obama Administration’s efforts to develop a 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) and expand employment opportunities for young people and veterans, will provide jobs resulting in paid conservation work experiences for more than 620 youth on public lands, as well as fund materials, transportation and other related supplies. These projects will also support approximately 1,550 volunteers working on public lands.
Jewell made the announcement at an event at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge outside Denver, Colorado, where she was joined by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment Arthur “Butch” Blazer; Greg Knadle, Vice President for Government Relations of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF); Refuge Manager David Lucas and youth corps members of Groundwork Denver.
“We have a shared responsibility to protect and promote public lands that belong to all Americans so our children and their children can enjoy them for generations to come. The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps is built through strong public-private partnerships that not only provide employment opportunities to young adults but also provide powerful connections to nature that will last a lifetime,” said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. “Through our partnership with Groundwork Denver and other organizations in communities across the country, we can leverage our federal investments with private support to help young adults learn new skills and gain great job experience while giving back to the community.”
“The partnerships associated with developing the next generation of conservationists offer an opportunity to connect our young people to the great outdoors,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “This program engages young people from diverse backgrounds, including underserved populations, and equips them with the knowledge and critical job skills they need to pursue careers in conservation and land management.”