INDIANAPOLIS (March 31, 2009) - Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels today announced the state will hire 2,000 young adults to spend this summer and next improving Indiana's parks, trails and natural habitats. The program, called the Young Hoosiers Conservation Corps, will use federal stimulus funds designated for employment and training of people 16 to 24 years old.
"Our template for stimulus funds is jobs, speed and lasting value. This program puts young people to work, does it quickly, and adds the best kind of enduring legacy in the enhanced natural beauty of Indiana," said Daniels.
The jobs will pay $8.50 per hour. According to federal requirements, the jobs will be for Hoosiers who are 24 years old or younger and whose family incomes are at or below the poverty level (approximately $23,000 for a family of four). The positions will begin no earlier than May 1 and end no later than September 30, 2009. The state will place a top priority on hiring veterans and those currently receiving unemployment benefits who meet the program's age and income eligibility requirements.
The 2,000 jobs include projects such as restoring natural wildlife habitats, building trails, beautifying Department of Natural Resources (DNR) properties, and rehabilitating historic buildings at about 100 DNR sites, including state parks, reservoirs, recreation areas, state forests, nature preserves, and state historic sites. All federal dollars will go into the young workers' paychecks; the DNR will use funds already budgeted for any needed materials.
The Department of Workforce Development and DNR will oversee the program. Job applications are being accepted immediately online at www.in.gov/yhcc.
The state will receive federal stimulus funds totaling about $24 million through the Workforce Investment Act to hire workers. This is a 91-county program. Under federal law, Marion County qualifies for $3 million of the total $24 million based on its population. Provided the program proves effective, the program will be renewed in 2010.
Young Hoosiers Conservation Corps Facts
- The Department of Natural Resources expects to restore up to 2,600 acres of natural habitat areas, build up to 110 miles of new trails, rehabilitate over 1,100 miles of existing trails and restore about 40 structures. The work will take place at about 100 DNR sites, including state parks, reservoirs, recreation areas, state forests, nature preserves, and state historic sites.
- About 2,000 young adults will be hired at a salary of $8.50 per hour for 16 weeks between May 1 and September 30. Those hired will be 16 to 24 years old and have family income at or below the poverty level. The state will seek veterans and those currently receiving unemployment benefits.
- Job applications are being accepted by the Department of Workforce Development online at www.in.gov/yhcc
- Training will include basic construction, historic preservation, and greenway development skills.
- Indiana will receive about $24 million in stimulus funds and will use it to hire workers this summer. Should the program prove successful, remaining funds will be used to renew it next summer.
- Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve (Lake County): Habitat restoration and invasive plant species removal on 120 acres.
- Potato Creek State Park (St. Joseph County): New trail construction and major trail rehabilitation.
- Loblolly Marsh Nature Preserve/Limberlost State Historic Site (Adams, Jay counties): continued restoration of historic Limberlost wetland habitat.
- J. Edgar Roush Lake (Huntington, Wells counties): removal of shrubs, trees and restoration of wildlife openings to maintain wildlife diversity.
- O'Bannon Woods State Park (Harrison County): control and eradication of harmful invasive vegetation.
- Deam Lake State Recreation Area (Clark County): Construction of new six-mile horse trail loop.
- Patoka Lake (Crawford, Dubois, Orange counties): Re-construction and restoration of historic log cabin.
- Knobstone Trail (Clark, Scott, Washington counties): New construction and major rehab of Indiana's longest hiking trail.
- Turkey Run State Park (Parke County): Rehabilitation of historic Leiber Memorial.
- Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site (Noble County): Repair and maintenance of historic GSP home.
- Mississinewa Lake (Miami, Wabash counties): Repair work on historic Frances Slocum shelter.
- Pokagon State Park (Steuben County): Preparing Trine State Recreation Area to open to the public (Trine would be the newest state recreation area).
A map of Indiana DNR properties that will be part of the Young Hoosiers Conservation Corps program can be found at this address: http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Press/DNR_properties.pdf
Audio from today's announcement can be found at this address: www.in.gov/gov/files/Audio/033109_Media_Availability.mp3
For updated information regarding Indiana's use of federal stimulus funds, please visit: INvest.in.gov
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