The Job Training and Environmental Conservation (JTEC) Initiative is a statewide collaboration among three Colorado youth corps with four service locations across Colorado: Mile High Youth Corps (MHYC), Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, and Western Colorado Conservation Corps, together serving 29 Colorado counties. These AmeriCorps members, age 17-24, are economically disadvantaged youth who have earned a high school diploma or GED, but have not yet completed a college degree. The JTEC Initiative focuses on addressing community problems, which include high school youth unemployment rates and environmental stewardship. Due to the economic recession, youth corps offers young people hope for a better future by providing stipends, opportunities for job training, leadership development, and case management support to improve their employability and career skills.
Each year, JTEC helps young people bridge the gap between high school and post-secondary graduation and/or the workplace by offering opportunities to earn stipends; acquire marketable job skills and work experience; become more mature and responsible through positive guidance and leadership development; receive encouragement and assistance with college exploration, admissions and financial aid applications; experience civic engagement; and become eligible for AmeriCorps education awards for post-secondary education in exchange for completing required service hours.
Additionally, with eleven national forests, four national parks, hundreds of regional and local parks, and thousands of miles of recreational trails and other open spaces—land managers need continual support to conserve these open spaces, and JTEC Corps has partnered in those efforts. This program’s design has been expanded to support an even greater impact on environmental stewardship, particularly targeting the extensive environmental damage that resulted from Colorado’s devastating fire season and flooding within the past year. Other service performed by trained Corps members includes invasive plant species removal, trail building, and maintenance of public lands. The U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, and numerous county and local governments contract with experienced and skilled JTEC partners to perform a myriad of environmental projects.
Read more on pg. 53 of Transforming Communities Through Service.