Washington Conservation Corps recruiting for 300 positions statewide

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The Department of Ecology is now recruiting for 300 environmental positions across the state in the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC).

The full-time AmeriCorps positions offer young adults and military veterans a range of opportunities to gain hands-on experience in environmental restoration, education projects and disaster response services for communities throughout the state.

WCC is seeking young adults ages 18 to 25 as well as Gulf War Era II veterans, reservists and dependents with no age restrictions. Members will begin their 11-month service term on Oct. 1, 2018.

“Service in the WCC is a great launching point for environmental careers and it is a joy watching our members grow into skilled, confident leaders,” said WCC Program Director Nick Mott. “Our program offers valuable training and crucial field experience, and graduating members become highly desirable candidates for government entities and non-profit organizations looking for experienced, dedicated employees with a passion for environmental stewardship.”

Typical projects include planting native trees and shrubs along rivers and streams, building and repairing bridges or backcountry trails, and responding to local or national disasters. To apply, go to www.ecology.wa.gov/wcc.

In addition to career experience, WCC members who complete 11 months and 1,700 hours of service earn a $5,920 AmeriCorps Education Award. Full-time members also are eligible for education loan forbearance, interest payments, health insurance and biweekly paychecks equivalent to the state minimum wage.

In May, dozens of WCC AmeriCorps members were deployed in Okanogan and Pend Oreille counties to help communities prepare for the worst spring flooding the region had faced in more than 40 years. WCC members filled and placed tens of thousands of protective sandbags around homes and other structures.

Last fall and winter, members went to Texas, Florida, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico to assist communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. These disaster response assignments included managing donations and volunteers, performing and documenting home damage assessments and needed repairs, removing debris from homeowner’s yards and installing tarps on damaged roofs.

WCC AmeriCorps members join more than 70,000 AmeriCorps members serving in 21,000 locations across the nation. Members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. Since it was formed in 1994, more than a million people have served in AmeriCorps, providing more than 1.4 billion hours of service and earning more than $3.3 billion in education scholarships.

To fund its WCC positions, Ecology receives $1.8 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees national volunteer service programs.

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