Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps – A Great Opportunity

Paul Pinkerton

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn today joined Department of Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino and Student Conservation Association representatives in announcing expansion of the highly successful Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps to work in state parks and state forests across the state.

Begun in early summer with five teen crews throughout state, the innovative Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps offers paid work experience, job training, and educational opportunities to young people who complete recreation and conservation projects at state parks, forestlands, and other Pennsylvania public lands.

“Whether it was battlng invasive growth, restoring hiking trails or renovating a state forest gazebo, Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps members worked hard last summer to protect and restore our public lands and waters, while receiving knowledge and expertise to be good stewards of our natural resources,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “I heard firsthand at their job sites how these young crews appreciated both the job opportunities and the chance to connect  with the outdoors and gain training necessary for future successful employment.”

The DCNR secretary notes the program is a key element of the department’s strategic efforts to connect with youth and expand job opportunities, particularly in underserved areas of the state.

“This youth employment and enrichment program is managed by DCNR in cooperation with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), with financial and program support provided by DCNR and the Pa. Department of Labor & Industry’s Reemployment Fund,”  Dunn said.

“Having had a chance to see these students at work in our beautiful state parks, we are especially pleased to offer our support to expand the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps in 2017 to create even more jobs,” said Labor & Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino. “We also are pleased to be working to attract more students from lower income households where barriers to employments, such as transportation, may be a larger issue.”

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps consists of two components: a six-week, summer program for youth between the ages of 15-18, and a 10-month program for young adults ages 18-25, for which applications now are being accepted. Applicants must:

—  Be between the ages of 18 to 25 at the start of the program;
—  Be able to conduct physical work in challenging, outdoor conditions;
—  Be enthusiastic about working on a diverse crew;
—  Have an interest in conservation and natural resource management;
—  Be able to model safe and professional behavior at all times.
Successful applicants will work February through November, 2017, in the Philadelphia, Greensburg, Wilkes-Barre and Williamsport areas. They will work a 37.5-hour week and receive $10.25-per-hour compenation and health insurance. Daily transportation to and from the work site and breakfast and lunch will also be provided.

Selected young people will join crews of 10 workers and two leaders, and work on trail maintenance, habitat restoration, vegetation management, park maintenance, light construction and more. Environmental education and job skills training also are provided. Applicants should be aware work is physically demanding and takes place in an outdoor setting in all weather and seasons.

Workers will:

—  Serve as part of a team on physically challenging conservation projects
in the outdoors;
—  Actively participate in crew projects, activities and decision making;
—  Meet the crew at a designated meeting location each morning;
—  Assist in additional tasks, including data recording, photography,
equipment maintenance and logistical planning as designated by a crew
—  Comply with SCA and DCNR policies as required.
Interested applicants should visit for instructions. Upon completing the SCA application, applicants are asked to email to let their interest be known.

The PA Outdoor Corps will expand its summer program in 2017, offering job opportunities for 15-18 year-olds in at least 10 locations. Locations are still being determined for that program, and applications will be accepted beginning this spring.The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is America’s oldest and largest youth conservation organization. SCA seeks to conserve land and transform lives by empowering young people of all backgrounds to plan, act and lead, while they protect and restore natural and cultural resources. Founded in 1957, its mission is to build future conservation leaders, and seven in 10 of SCA’s 80,000 alumni worldwide are employed or studying in conservation-related fields. For more information:

For more details on Pennsylvania Outdoors Corps:


Sara Goulet, L&I,


Outdoor Revival – Reconnecting us all to the Outdoors


jack-beckett is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival