12/15/2022 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/16/2022 08:24
NORTH CAROLINA-Job Corps was created in 1964 as part of President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty and Great Society initiatives. These programs sought to expand economic and social opportunities for Americans, especially minorities and the poor.
Job Corps was modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps, a program founded in 1933 to relieve unemployment during the Great Depression by providing conservation work to young men. Projects included fighting forest fires, cruising timber, planting trees and maintaining forest roads and trails.
Currently, the USDA Forest Service operates 24 Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers all over the country-with 11 in the South-to provide training and education for young people. The Job Corps mission is to help young people ages 16 through 24 improve their lives through vocational and academic training aimed at gainful employment and career pathways.
This fall, the Southern Research Station Forest Inventory and Analysis program came together with Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia, Alabama, and the Oconaluftee Job Corp Civilian Conservation Center in Cherokee, North Carolina, to discuss diversity in the workplace and how to increase hiring of under-represented minorities within the Forest Service. The meeting focused on building relationships with a multitude of partners.
The community college offers a two-year degree in forest technology and trains students for positions as forest technicians. This curriculum emphasizes the development of practical forestry skills. Students can participate in a broad range of field operations, such as timber cruising, control burning, stand description, development of forest management plans and special use permit programs. Professor Adam Bowers has proposed changes to the college curriculum to prepare its graduates to successfully compete for positions within Forest Inventory and Analysis.A student at the Oconaluftee Job Corps Center uses a clinometer to measure tree height. USDA Forest Service photo by James Lawler.
This collaboration among the center, Job Corps center and station will deliver better education, practical research and field-based experience for students - and thus provide students with a greater opportunity for employment.
Southern Research Station Forest Inventory and Analysis has a vision to develop students as forest technicians with an increased emphasis and focus on diversity, bringing awareness to under-represented groups and underserved communities. Doing so will help the agency meet Chief Moore's commitment to increase hiring of recent graduates over the next few years. Of Job Corps, Chief Moore said, "Forest Service Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center graduates are a precious resource available to the Forest Service to cultivate and prepare a new generation of conservation stewards to care for the land and serve people. As leaders, I would like us to make a renewed commitment to employing our Job Corps CCC graduates."
Learn more about the Forest Service partnership with Job Corps. For more information, email Sam Lambert at [email protected].