WASHINGTON, D.C. - Thousands of temporary seasonal jobs with the Forest Service and its partners are available this summer and officials say now is the time to begin the application process.
"Due to the nature of much of our work, such as wildfire fighting and seasonal recreation programs, we anticipate hiring many temporary workers," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "These jobs will provide economic relief for many unemployed Americans and help stimulate local rural communities."
Annually, the Forest Service and its conservation partners hire over 15,000 people for summer positions. Of that total there are around 12,000 openings during the peak fire season months for those seeking temporary work in the fire and aviation management field. More about jobs in the Forest Service can be found online at http://www.fs.fed.us/fsjobs/openings.shtml.
"Seasonal job opportunities also provide first-hand knowledge of natural resource management to the new hires, many of whom are young adults. These work experiences may instill lasting and meaningful connections between the future stewards of our land and America's great outdoors," Tidwell said.
Many of the communities most affected by economic hard times are located near national forests and grasslands. By providing temporary jobs to a diverse group of applicants, the Forest Service is contributing to stronger communities and providing safe access to the forests and grasslands for their use and enjoyment by people of all abilities, Tidwell noted.
For example, through the Forest Service's Urban and Community Forestry program some of these employment opportunities will engage students in the creation of a new generation of clean, accessible great urban parks and community green spaces, a goal of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative - a plan to reconnect Americans to the forests and grasslands that sustain the nation.
An employment alternative offered through the Forest Service is enrollment in one of the agency's 28 Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers. This rigorous vocational training program combines a demanding academic curriculum and prepares students to excel in the 21st century workforce. One emphasis area focuses on "green-collar" jobs and clean energy issues. Recognizing the program's efforts in green jobs training, President Obama has endorsed them as America's Green Job Corps.
The Forest Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Parks Service, and the Employment and Training Administration share common goals regarding career development for young people. These goals include giving low income youth opportunities to gain valuable work experience, provide service to their nation, and contribute to much needed work projects on public lands.
Land management agencies and the land itself can benefit from increased employment of youth on the public lands, especially to address the backlog maintenance issues many agencies face. As these workers learn about the potential career pathways in these occupations, those who are interested can help meet the imminent demand for skilled workers as approximately 35 percent of Forest Service employees are eligible for retirement in the next four years, Tidwell said.
These jobs will also be part of the President's White House Summer Jobs+ initiative to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth in the summer of 2012.
The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. Recreational activities on our lands contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.
USDA works with state, local and Tribal governments and private landowners to conserve and protect our nation's natural resources - helping preserve our land, and clean our air and water. President Obama launched the America's Great Outdoors initiative in 2010 to foster a 21st century approach to conservation that is designed by and accomplished in partnership with the American people. During the past two years, USDA's conservation agencies - the U.S. Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Farm Service Agency - have delivered technical assistance and implemented restoration practices on public and private lands. We are working to better target conservation investments: embracing locally driven conservation and entering partnerships that focus on large, landscape-scale conservation.