Making Stimulus Funds Work!
Northwest Youth Corps Transitions New Program
From Federal to Local Money!
Northwest Youth Corps (NYC) has transitioned a program started by American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to a fully community supported program!
Northwest Youth Corps’ OutDoor Oregon program, created with stimulus funding, is dedicated to getting teens outdoors and paid for their hard work while enhancing Oregon’s natural resources. Unfortunately, the teen unemployment rate in Oregon has averaged just more than 31 percent over the past year, according to an analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Teen unemployment in Oregon is nearly 28 percent higher than the national average, and Oregon has the third highest average teen unemployment rate in the nation. Northwest Youth Corps programs are fighting these statistics.
OutDoor Oregon program creates local teen jobs in the community. With OutDoor Oregon, teenagers from across the state work in their hometown for a five week program enhancing their community’s public spaces. Through a focus on local projects, Oregon youth become connected and invested with the land in which they live, and can take pride in the benefits they create for their area.
The projects for the community are determined by each county’s Community Partnership Coalition. The coalition is comprised of leaders, educators, land managers, and government officials who identify high priority projects in their community, such as reforestation, fire hazard reduction, trail construction, and habitat enhancement.
Building on Past Success: Since 2009—using Recovery funding—NYC has successfully created and operated OutDoor Oregon in Lane, Clackamas, Jackson, Marion, Multnomah, Josephine, Washington, and Benton counties. Since 2009 we have served over 200 youth! Because of community support and contributions from the Ford Family Foundation, Herbert A. Templeton Foundation and MDU Resource Foundation - Northwest Youth Corps has been able to transition a successful program started by stimulus money into a viable job opportunity for Oregon youth for years to come.
In addition to OutDoor Oregon’s two-year track record of success, NYC has 27 years of youth development experience. In 2010, NYC employed more than 1,000 teens who completed more than 350 resource management projects in the Pacific Northwest.
Northwest Youth Corps is continuing to build OutDoor Oregon’s Community Partnership Coalition. If anyone in your community has a project for OutDoor Oregon or is interested in youth opportunities, or starting a coalition, please contact us this winter. We are busy gearing up for another exciting and successful year!