Spokane Area Youth Work to Reduce Wildfire Danger

 

Over the next five months, eight Spokane area young adults working with the Northwest Youth Corps’ Spokane Community Corps will participate in a large scale fuels reduction project.  In partnership with the Spokane BLM and WA State Department of Natural Resources, the crew will work in and around the Spokane area to remove hazardous fuels and create defensible space, minimizing the impacts of wildfire.   Many BLM and DNR lands in the Spokane area lie adjacent to residential neighborhoods and the reduction of hazardous fuels in these locations is an extremely high priority.

The program is the result of a partnership between AmeriCorps, The Corps Network’s Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYSI), and Northwest Youth Corps.   Through this initiative, young adults aged 18-24 who are unemployed, out of school and receiving public assistance will gain important work experience and certifications that will provide future opportunities in their employment. While completing high priority resource management projects, the participant will earn a living stipend as well as an Education Award at the end of their service.  With the experience, training, and education award, members will be better prepared to seek higher education and enter the workforce.

During the five month program, members will receive trainings such as Wilderness First Aid and CPR, S-212, S-130/190, NIMS ICS 100/700 and CERT. These certifications coupled with the five month experience will provide a pathway for long-term employment and personal growth.

The members come from diverse backgrounds and bring a lot of excitement to the new program.   Ronnie Schroder of Elk, WA is a young parent and has been searching for steady work for months “this program is a perfect fit! I love working outdoors and can’t wait to get started on this (project)!”

Northwest Youth Corps is excited to see this program develop. The Spokane Community Corps is one of five OYSI crews sponsored by The Corps Network and Northwest Youth Corps this spring.  Other crews are currently based in Portland and Eugene, Oregon as well as the Columbia Gorge. In total, 40 young adults will have an incredible adventure serving their communities and growing their futures.

-Submitted by Northwest Youth Corps

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