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Central Oregon

Heart of Oregon Corps seeks Public Lands Corps applicants

Heart of Oregon Corps is seeking young adults, ages 17-24, to apply to the AmeriCorps Public Lands Corps, a national service program. Applications are due by Nov. 1 to join the Nov. 11 cohort. The three-month program offers more than $5,000 in benefits.

Local 17-24-year-olds seeking a hands-on, outdoor-based experience should apply right away at heartoforegon.org for a chance at one of just 12 fall AmeriCorps positions. The Heart of Oregon AmeriCorps Public Lands Corps is based out of Bend and Prineville and offers unique opportunities for local youth to be outside daily while giving back and building skills. Many current crew members use Cascade East Transit to commute from other Central Oregon towns to Prineville or Bend to participate.

In just three months, young people will get to prevent wildfires, build trails and fences, clean up communities, and protect wildlife habitats. They will work in crews on public lands right in their own backyards, while still getting to sleep in their own beds each night. Young adults will roll up their sleeves, put on work boots, meet new friends, and make a real impact on Central Oregon’s lands, communities, and economies.

“Your crew becomes so close, almost like a family,” shares alumnus Elijah Tucker. “We accomplish so much together, eat together, laugh together, and grow.”

The schedule is a new model for Heart of Oregon Corps, who wanted to offer a shorter, intensive experience to brand-new corps members. Crew members will work Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm, from November 11 th to February 21 st, with Thanksgiving week and Christmas week off.

Over the 13-week program, Crew Members earn $3,575 total through a weekly stipend and a $1,500 AmeriCorps Scholarship, good for 7 years. Other program benefits include career exploration, training and certifications, assistance accessing health insurance, childcare, and Cascade East Transit Bus passes.

The job skills training program is great for any young person who is not in school and not working, and for recent high school or college grads. No previous experience, education level, or driver’s license is required; applicants need to be eligible to work in the US. Program Coordinator Priscilla Calleros shares that “young people should bring a desire to make a difference and change their lives!”

Two other cohorts will be offered later, with applications due February 21 st and June 19 th . Early applications are encouraged for all cohorts, and there are several required pre-enrollment steps.

Heart of Oregon Corps secured a new three-year competitive federal AmeriCorps grant in August to offer the year-round Public Lands Corps opportunity over the next three years. The grant is awarded through the state agency of Oregon Volunteers. Partnerships with the US Forest Service, Oregon State Parks, Crook County Parks and Recreation, Bend Park and Recreation District, Deschutes County, the BLM, and many other public lands partners make the projects, and program, possible.

Recent project locations include Shevlin Park, Cram Creek, the Deschutes River Trail, and Bridge Creek. Young people also recently toured the USFS Wildfire Redmond Air Center and participated in USAJobs.Gov hiring workshops for USFS and BLM seasonal jobs.

Applications and more information are available at heartoforegon.org.

About Heart of Oregon Corps: Including AmeriCorps, Heart of Oregon Corps runs six programs that provide job skills training, education, and leadership development to over 300 local young people each year ages 16-24 who face major barriers to success. Heart of Oregon empowers a generation of young people to believe in themselves and achieve self-sufficiency—we train tomorrow’s workforce today! Youth can apply at www.heartoforegon.org.

About Corporation for National and Community Service: Funding for Heart of Oregon’s AmeriCorps program is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering and service. This year marks the 25th anniversary of AmeriCorps. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1 million Americans have served their country through the national service program. Organizations are currently recruiting for AmeriCorps members to begin service this fall. Those interested in serving can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/Join.

KTVZ 2019

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KTVZ News Team

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