A nationally recognized jobs initiative for young adults is returning for its fifth year, Gov. Nixon announced today. State Parks Youth Corps (SPYC), launched by the Governor in 2010, provides Missouri youth with the opportunity to work outdoors improving Missouriâ€™s state parks and historic sites. SPYC employs eligible Missourians between the ages of 17 and 23 at parks, historic sites and natural areas across Missouri, from May 1 through Dec. 31. Applications for the program are now being accepted online at thinkoutside.mo.gov.
â€œState Parks Youth Corps gives young Missourians the opportunity to gain valuable job skills while making a difference in Missouriâ€™s outdoor areas,â€ said Gov. Jay Nixon. â€œSince 2010, weâ€™ve been able to undertake a wide variety of meaningful projects and are looking forward to what these young people are sure to accomplish in 2014.â€
â€œWeâ€™ve been incredibly pleased with the contributions these young people have made to Missouriâ€™s state parks and historic sites over the past several years,â€ said Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks. â€œWe look forward to continuing this important partnership for the benefit of the participants and the stateâ€™s award-winning parks system.â€
Since the program began in 2010, SPYC workers have completed more than 550,000 hours in Missouri state parks and historic sites. During 2013, SPYC workers put in more than 70,000 hours, performing a variety of tasks, ranging from routine maintenance work and trail construction to interpretation and stewardship efforts. Examples included treating 365 acres of Long Branch State Park for invasive plant species; repairing and repainting 15 picnic tables, 12 benches, and 60 grills at St. Joe State Park; leading nearly 1,700 tours at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park; and working to build an accessible pathway at Battle of Lexington State Historic Site.
State Parks Youth Corps (SPYC) is administered by Missouriâ€™s Workforce Investment Boards in partnership with the Missouri Department of Natural Resourcesâ€™ Division of State Parks and the Missouri Department of Economic Developmentâ€™s Division of Workforce Development. In 2013, Missouri State Parks Youth Corps was accepted as a part of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC).
This summer, young Missourians will have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience to prepare for tomorrowâ€™s careers, while enjoying the beauty and grandeur of Missouriâ€™s state parks. The Missouri State Parks Youth Corps will challenge participants to â€œThink Outsideâ€ by accomplishing interesting projects that help preserve and enhance Missouriâ€™s state park system. In addition to developing the critical leadership skills that will prepare them for success in future careers, the program will bolster an appreciation for the environment and â€œgreenâ€ concepts that are an exciting part of Missouriâ€™s growing industries. (Article courtesy thinkoutside.mo.gov, please visit site for more information or program application.)