INDIANAPOLIS (May 1, 2009) - Today, more than 500 Young Hoosiers Conservations Corps (YHCC) participants began working at Department of Natural Resources (DNR) sites throughout the state. These Hoosiers mark the first of four groups of young people, eventually totaling nearly 2,000, who will spend the summer improving Indiana's parks, trails and natural habitats.
"Governor Daniels launched YHCC to put young Hoosiers to work quickly and add lasting value to the state," said Teresa Voors, Commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. "Today hundreds of Hoosiers took their first steps to fulfilling that promise while gathering valuable career skills in the process."
YHCC participants kicked-off their summer work experience undergoing basic safety training, job and career counseling and watching a welcome video from Governor Mitch Daniels. The Governor started his message referencing the Civilian Conservation Corps which put people to work during the Great Depression building many of the park structures YHCC participants will be rehabilitating this summer.
"Your grandfathers and great-grandfathers knew how to build things that last. Your summer will honor their work and create new places of beauty you and your grandchildren can enjoy many years from now," said Governor Daniels in the video. "Our goal is for you to leave this program with more than just a great tan and a paycheck... Please take full advantage of the career counseling, resume writing, and interview coaching available to you this summer."
YHCC youth will learn basic construction, historic preservation and greenway development skills at nearly 100 DNR sites, including state parks, reservoirs, recreation areas, state forests, nature preserves and state historic sites. Through this program, DNR expects to restore up to 2,600 acres of natural habitat area, build up to 110 miles of new trails, rehabilitate over 1,100 miles of existing trails and restore about 40 state parks, reservoirs, recreation areas, state forest, nature preserves and state historic sites.
The second group of YHCC participants is scheduled to begin work on May 15, the third on May 29 and the fourth on June 8. YHCC is still accepting applications at www.in.gov/yhcc. Due to federal requirements, the jobs will be for Hoosiers between the ages of 16-24 years old, who have a family income level at or below poverty level (approximately $23,000 for a family of four). 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.
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