The Oregon Youth Conservation Corps (OYCC) provides education, training and employment opportunities based on conservation projects to disadvantaged and at-risk youth. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has granted the State of Oregon, through the OYCC program in the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The name of the project is the Oregon Youth Employment Initiative (OYEI). An OYEI Advisory and Oversight Committee has been formed that includes representatives from: USFS, OYCC, Governor’s Office, Association of Oregon Counties, Department of Education and Business Education Compact. The federal funds will fund conservation projects operated by local programs and partners.
The purpose of this initiative is to create employment opportunities for youth and supporting adults. Youth ages 15-24 are eligible to apply. Grant funds are awarded to providers at the local level. OYCC funds crews in every county and additional crews in counties that have the highest unemployment rate.
Examples of the types of projects that are funded include but are not limited to: bridge and trail maintenance and decommissioning, watershed restoration, ecosystem enhancement, facilities improvement, maintenance and renovation, hazardous fuels reduction, forest health protection, rehabilitation and hazard mitigation, invasive species removal, plantings, water guzzler construction and maintenance, fencing, enclosures, water quality improvement, community park and greenspace stewardship, etc.