Local Conservation Corps

Certified Local Conservation Corps

Local Conservation Corps provide job skills trainingCertified Local Conservation Corps are individual, regional, nonprofit organizations. The mission of each Local Conservation Corps is to preserve and protect the environment and provide job skills training and educational opportunities to young men and women, primarily ages 18-25.

To become a certified, a Local Conservation Corps must meet certain statutory criteria (Public Resources Code section 14507.5), which includes being in operation for at least two years, conducting an educational component and having at least 50 corpsmembers enrolled. The certification process is conducted annually by the California Conservation Corps (CCC).

Local Conservation Corps are not the same as the CCC. The CCC is a government agency within the California Natural Resources Agency. Local Conservation Corps and the CCC work collaboratively in many areas and share the same mission of providing job training and academic instruction for California’s at-risk youth. While Local Conservation Corps predominantly serve urban areas, the CCC provides additional coverage in rural areas through its residential and back country trails program.

Changing Lives

Local Conservation Corps change livesLocal Conservation Corps provide an alternative to youth unemployment, incarceration, and substance abuse, and help young men and women get their lives on a healthy track.

Upon entering a Local Conservation Corps, corpsmembers receive educational opportunities and on-the-job skills training.

Most corpsmembers enter our programs without a high school degree, but all corps members are required to participate in a structured academic program. Each Local Conservation Corps works with or operates a charter school, and corpsmembers earn their high school diploma or pass the GED, and many enroll in college or vocational education programs during and/or after their tenure as corpsmembers.

In addition, many corps members earn valuable certifications, such as standard and high level drivers licenses, fork lift operation and other key skills.

Local Conservation Corps build skillsIn addition to classroom education, Local Conservation Corps provide an opportunity for young people to build transferable professional skills ranging from operating a forklift to public speaking.

Corpsmembers participate in leadership roles within the corps and are counseled on work and career options. Their work experience helps them to build a résumé, be a part of a work team and learn useful skills. They also participate in service projects to learn the importance of giving back to the community.

The Local Conservation Corps experience leads to successful post-program employment. It is also a proven way to reduce recidivism; participation in a Local Conservation Corps programs has been shown to reduce arrest rates by nearly one-third.

Simply put, corpsmembers participating in a Local Conservation Corps can receive an education, learn professional job skills, take critical steps to become an employed and self-sufficient citizen, and become assets in their families, in their communities and for all of California.

Economic Impact Report

In 2014, Andrew Chang LLC conducted an analysis of the economic value of the local conservation corps provide to their communities, and found investment in the Local Corps generates $52.7 million in increased economic activity and more than 900 jobs.

Read more about the contributions of the local corps here (PDF)