Connecticut revived a Depression-era jobs program to put today's un- and underemployed young adults to work, with emphasis on the "green'' economy, authorities say.
The Connecticut Conservation Corps (CCC) launched Tuesday, providing summer jobs initially to 30 residents ages 18 to 25. Thirty more are to follow, authorities say.
The corps was a mainstay for millions of Americans during the Great Depression in the 1930s and the cornerstone of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal.'' Then, workers cleared and maintained state forests and open spaces, and built and repaired bridges, bridges and other infrastructure.
Today's partnership consists of the state labor and energy and environmental protection agencies, the Northwest Regional Workforce Investment Board and the Eastern Workforce Investment Board.
"During this initial phase of the program, 60 state residents will have the opportunity to become part of our Connecticut Conservation Corps team," State Labor Commissioner Glenn Marshall said in a statement.
Marshall added that the CCC was also designed to help protect natural and cultural resources, and preserve the beauty of state parks, forests, wildlife management areas and historical sites while also providing recreational opportunities to the public.
Participants will work 28 hours per week – reporting to parks and recreation areas Tuesday through Thursday and performing jobs that include clearing brush, light tree trimming and maintaining trails and paths, Marshall said.
Following successful completion of the program, the CCC also provides participants with ongoing referral and retention support services for an additional six months, said Rina Bakalar, director of the Office of Workforce Competitiveness.
To qualify, applicants must be in excellent health and earn learn less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level, or $37,825 for a family of two. Preference is given to military veterans.