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Pa. Outdoor Corps provides kids work experience, job training and helps the state’s public lands

 Courtesy of DCNR

About 100 young adults are working this summer across the state as part of a program sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). The PA Outdoor Corps provides paid work experience, job training and environmental education to individuals between the ages of 15 and 25.

The program is financed by funding provided by the state Department of Labor and Industry and private philanthropic partners.

DCNR “ends up hiring a lot of Outdoor Corps alumni because it’s a great breeding ground and testing ground” according to DCNR spokesperson Wesley Robinson.

The corps offers young people the opportunity to complete conservation projects that protect, enhance, and restore Pennsylvania’s public lands.

“It’s a great program in terms of job training, job skills, teaching young people responsibility, but also giving them the opportunity for sweat equity,” Robinson said.

Established in 2016, more than 900 young people have completed the program.

This year there are 23 crews across the commonwealth including 13 six-week youth crews and ten 10-month young adult crews. Work locations include Harrisburg, Reading, York and statewide Natural Resource, Cultural Resource and Trail crews. Projects include habitat enhancement, improving park and forest assets such as buildings, drainage structures and landscaped areas and tree planting.

Besides DCNR, PA Outdoor Corps alumni have obtained employment with the National Parks Service, National Forest Service and other conservation organizations.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps, visit the DCNR website at

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