Transitioning from Military Service to the Civilian Workforce
A Partnership with Veterans Green Jobs
The CCC has numerous crews made up of young U.S. military veterans. Several crews are working directly with the U.S. Forest Service -- they're receiving training and hands-on work experience in forestry and firefighting skills.
Additional veterans crews will receive certified training in "green" energy and lighting systems technology.
A Backcountry Trails crew is working with the National Park Service in California, building and maintaining wilderness trails.
Positions on all crews feature paid training and a living stipend.
Interested in joining a veterans crew? There are both residential and nonresidential locations.
- Veterans ages 18 to 25 (with limited exceptions for veterans ages 26-27)
- Not on probation or parole
- Honorable Discharge or General Discharge under Honorable Conditions
- Able to pass background check, drug test, physical exam and training
The veterans crews grew out of a partnership with Veterans Green Jobs, to help returning young veterans transition from military service to civilian life. Veterans Green jobs is a nonprofit organization that helps veterans find career opportunities related to energy efficiency and energy conservation; clean and renewable energy; natural resource conservation; environmental restoration and more. It currently has programs in eight western states. Following a successful pilot program in 2011, the number of veterans crews has been expanded in 2012.
Two of the CCC's early directors, the late B.T. Collins and Jack Dugan, were both military veterans themselves . The Corps' veterans program is dedicated to their memory.
For veterans on the forestry crews, it's a chance to work on fuel reduction projects, learn to use a chain saw and help with wildfire education work. After completing 500 hours of work experience, veterans may become eligible for the Forest Service's Wildland Firefighter Apprenticeship Program, that can lead to journey-level positions.
The CCC/USFS crews work on forest lands near Auburn and Lake Tahoe in Northern California, and in San Bernardino and San Diego counties in Southern California. There are both residential and nonresidential opportunities, depending on location.
Funding for the crews is provided by the Forest Service through the CCC/USFS partnership as well from the operating budget of the California State Assembly through the leadership of Speaker John A. Pérez.
Veterans who are a part of these crews receive certification in Energy Technology and Lighting Systems from Sierra College's Center for Applied Competitive Technologies. The training includes energy systems, electricity, lighting, photovoltaic systems, and energy-efficient retrofitting. Once certified, the crews travel to Department of Motor Vehicles offices throughout the state to do lighting retrofitting and maintenance.
The training provided by Sierra College, together with the hands-on experience gained by the veterans, provides skills needed to qualify for good jobs after the CCC.
Photos courtesy of Sierra College.
The Backcountry Trails veterans crew spends April to September living and working in California wilderness areas, constructing granite trails and repairing meadows.
The men and women, from widely diverse backgrounds, leave behind the conveniences and luxuries of modern life and venture into the mountains to spend five exhausting months doing some of the most challenging and ultimately rewarding work of their lives.
Life in the Backcountry is extremely physically and mentally demanding. Participants are required to hike at high elevations from 2-20 miles per day at a minimum of 3 mph. Work includes logging, brushing, building new tread, cleaning water bars, rerouting trails around fragile areas, repairing damaged meadows, building and repairing bridges, and building steps, retaining walls and causeways out of rock, wood and other native materials.
Consider joining the Backcountry veterans crew for the 2013 season.
San Diego Veterans Video
San Diego Veterans Crew/North County News