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Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps recruiting 18-to 24-year-olds for summer work program

The Sonoma County Youth Ecology Corps is accepting applications for its summer employment program, which gives 18- to 24-year-olds opportunities to learn new skills, acquire work experience and earn money while working with crews on local environmental and conservation projects.

Participants earn $16 an hour learning about the environment, exploring career opportunities and developing work-readiness skills. The program lasts 8 weeks during the summer with opportunities for extended work throughout the year. Corps members contribute valuable services to the community by maintaining streams and parks through vegetation management, helping to prevent flooding and fires, and addressing safety issues on public lands and roadways.

“The projects these young people are working on expose them to all kinds of job opportunities while also providing a valuable service to our community. At the same time, they are learning about the environment and getting to work in some of the most beautiful places in Sonoma County,” said Supervisor James Gore, chair of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.

The Youth Ecology Corps is operated by the Department of Human Services’ Employment & Training Division in partnership with Conservation Corps North Bay, which hires and supervises crews. Other partners include Sonoma Water, the City of Santa Rosa, the county Agriculture Preservation and Open Space District, the county Department of Transportation and Public Works, and Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods.

“The Youth Ecology Corps is a great summer job for young people who enjoy working outdoors. This work experience helps them prepare for careers in conservation and public works,” said Lilian Vieyra Torres, employment & training program coordinator for the county Department of Human Services.

Last summer, the Youth Ecology Corps employed more than 40 young people in Sonoma County who provided 9,307 hours of service to the community. Some of the projects completed last year include park and public land maintenance, stream/waterway maintenance, construction, and removal of invasive species.

“I really enjoy working for the Youth Ecology Corps. I’ve been learning about the environment and jobs,” said Omar Arroyo, a student at John Muir Charter School who is employed in the program year-round. “It’s just been cool to meet everyone on my crew.”

Interested youth should apply as soon as possible by texting the Youth Ecology Corps at (707) 758-4129 or filling out an interest form at Interest forms are available in English and Spanish. Watch the corps’ social media recruitment video on YouTube. Jobs will open as soon as June 13, but applications will continue to be accepted for positions available over summer and fall.

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