BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Long summer days are ahead, and Central Oregon Youth Conservation Corps has summer jobs for young people! This is a great opportunity for youth ages 16 to 18 years old to gain job skills and learn more about natural resources while improving public lands and reducing the threat of wildfires in our community.
Nearly 50 local youth will be selected for this competitive summer program and earn $12.75 an hour, working 36 hours a week. Hands-on projects in Central Oregon’s beautiful forests and high deserts include building trails, maintaining fences, piling hazardous fuels, restoring campgrounds, and improving wildlife habitat on the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests and the Crooked River National Grassland.
The program runs from June 28th through August 19th. Youth will work 9 hours a day Monday through Thursday. Youth crews meet daily in Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Prineville, La Pine, Crescent, Madras, and Warm Springs. “This program is a really good way to get a foot in the door with all kinds of jobs that I didn’t even know existed,” said Kevin Perez, who now works for Wildland Fire and is a two-time graduate of Heart of Oregon’s COYCC summer program.
As in 2020, operations are planned to look substantially different, as physical distancing and COVID-19 related Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) are integrated into day-to-day practices.
While HOC operates under independent COVID-19 protocol, efforts are mirrored by the USFS, which is currently implementing its own Safety Protocol under which risk assessments are conducted for all activities at the National Forest level.
Heart of Oregon Corps operates the Central Oregon Youth Conservation Corps program in partnership with the US Forest Service and Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council.
Funding for the 2021 program secured thus far includes support and grant awards from the Deschutes National Forest, the Ochoco National Forest, Oregon Youth Corps, The Autzen Foundation, The Harvest Foundation, Oregon Hunters Association-Bend Chapter, PGE, and Polaris.
Applications must be received by May 1st and are available online at www.heartoforegon.org. For more information, contact Summer Program Manager Tyler McRae at (406) 261-0209 or Forest Service YCC Coordinator Paul Smith at (541) 416-6431.