Posted in Environment, Politics, tagged budget cuts, Community Service, conservation corps, green jobs, jobs, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Conservation Corps, unemployment, young people, Youth, youth unemployment on May 31, 2011 |
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Over the past 27 years, nearly 15,000 young Pennsylvania citizens have served in the Pennsylvania Conservation Corps. Aged from 18-25, these individuals have gained valuable work skills, helped bolster their communities through a variety of conservation and disaster relief related projects, and gone on to become productive members of the workforce. Now, however, the program that served as a confidence builder and stepping stone for so many young people has been targeted for elimination.
In an effort to address a $10.4 billion state budget debt, Pennsylvania politicians have decided that eliminating funding for a program that has an approximate budget of $4.6 million dollars will be a step in the right direction (or, for those keeping track, making up for approximately 0.04% of the budget shortfall) . There are people like myself who hope that this does not happen because we think the benefits provided by the Pennsylvania Conservation Corps far outweighs its costs, especially for the 250+ people the program enrolls annually.
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Posted in Environment, tagged 21st Century Conservation Corps, America's Great Outdoors, America's Great Outdoors initiative, Barack Obama, childhood obesity, Civilian Conservation Corps, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Harris Sherman, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Ken Salazar, Meryl Harrell, national forests, national parks, nature, nature deficit disorder, Obama, outdoors, President Barack Obama, Secretary of the Interior, unemployment, Will Shafroth, young people, Youth, YouthGo.gov on March 6, 2011 |
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This past week, President Obama headlined an event to herald the continuing work and progress being made on his America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, which aims to get more Americans outside while allocating additional federal funds toward land and water conservation.
While the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative (AGO) targets all Americans, getting young people outside and enthusiastic about the outdoors is a major priority of the initiative that deserves elevated attention. For instance, one study has indicated that today young people spend half as much time outside as their parents did. Childhood obesity rates have also tripled in the past 30 years. This information suggests that while getting young people outdoors will have its challenges, it will also come with great benefits.
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