Washington Conservation Corps has 300 environmental positions statewide; local spots open

Elma, WA – The Department of Ecology has opened recruitment for 300 environmental positions across the state within the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) program.

 Locally, 5 positions are open for a crew in the Elma area to work in old growth forest. 

The local positions are projected to begin in October and last for 11 months.

According to Ecology, this crew completes many projects, including campground construction or improvement in the fall, hatchery work and salmon spawning in the winter, reforestation and soil stabilization in the spring, and invasive species in the summer, among other work.

“If you enjoy the outdoors, building new skills, and assisting communities in need—all while  protecting the environment—nothing can rival the opportunities we offer in the WCC,” said WCC Program Director Bridget Talebi.

 WCC is seeking young adults age 18 to 25, as well as Gulf War Era II veterans, reservists, and active duty dependents with no age restrictions.

The field-based AmeriCorps positions offer young adults and military veterans hands-on opportunities to gain experience in environmental restoration, monitoring and research, local and national disaster response services, and education projects.

 Serving on small crews, WCC members engage in a variety of habitat enhancement projects, including planting native trees and shrubs along rivers and streams, and improving trails.

 Prior experience is not required. WCC prioritizes member training and enrichment opportunities throughout their 11-month service terms. Members begin their new service terms on Oct. 7, 2019. To apply, visit www.ecology.wa.gov/wcc.

 WCC members also assist communities in Washington and across the country after natural disasters, according to DOE. 

During the current 2018-19 service year, WCC members responded to flooding in three counties in Washington and to 12 wildfires across the state. 

 In addition to gaining field skills, WCC members are eligible for a $6,095 AmeriCorps Education Award after completing 11 months and 1,700 hours of service. Members are also eligible for education loan forbearance and interest payments through AmeriCorps, as well as health insurance and a biweekly living allowance equivalent to the state minimum wage.

 To support the positions, Ecology received $1.9 million in AmeriCorps funding this year from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees national volunteer service programs.