News Release 103

State Parks Youth Corps job fair April 26 and 28 for Big Oak Tree State Park

Volume 39-103 (For Immediate Release)
For more information: 573-751-1010

JEFFERSON CITY, MO., APRIL 15, 2011 -- Young Missourians have an opportunity for a summer job while learning new skills and discovering Missouri state parks and historic sites. Information about this year’s State Parks Youth Corps and current seasonal employment for Big Oak Tree State Park near East Prairie will be provided at two job fairs.

Job fairs will be held April 26 at the Clara Drinkwater Newnam Library (Mississippi County Library), 105 E. Marshall St. in Charleston and on April 28 at the East Prairie Nutrition Center, 304 E. Main St. in East Prairie. The job fairs will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. Staff from Big Oak Tree State Park will be available to answer questions about the program and what opportunities are available for this year.

The State Parks Youth Corps will provide jobs for youth 17-21 years of age from April 1 through Nov. 30. Additional seasonal employment opportunities are also available to individuals 17 and older. Youth will earn $7.25 an hour and work at sites throughout the southeast Missouri, enhancing and improving Missouri state parks and historic sites. The program also will provide them with work experience and an opportunity to learn new skills and possible careers in natural resources.

Youth corps members will perform a variety of tasks from routine maintenance work and trail construction to guided tours and social media efforts. Examples include painting buildings and repairing roofs and windows; planting trees and maintaining landscapes; building and maintaining trails; inventorying historic artifacts and native species; assisting in offices and visitor centers; and providing tours and programs.

First initiated by Gov. Nixon in 2010, the State Parks Youth Corps is a partnership between the Missouri Division of Workforce Development, the Missouri Division of State Parks and Missouri’s local Workforce Investment Boards. The local boards help recruit and place individual youth in work positions at the parks. Park staffs provide guidance and leadership to the youth workers throughout the summer.

This year’s program is funded by Workforce Investment Act 15 percent funds and youth must meet Workforce Investment Act guidelines, which include low income or other eligibility requirements. Income guidelines vary from an income of $10,890 for a family of one to $37,630 for a family of eight or receiving public assistance or food stamps. Other eligibility requirements include areas such as qualifying as homeless; or being a foster child, school dropout or being deficient in basic literary skills.

Applications and additional program information, including eligibility guidelines, are available at MO.gov. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit with the local Workforce Investment Boards about eligibility guidelines.

In 2010, State Parks Youth Corps members at Big Oak Tree State Park assisted with trail work, park maintenance, grounds keeping and much more. In 2011, job duties may include assisting with park special events, field studies, plus duties listed similar to last year.

Big Oak Tree Park is located 14 miles south of East Prairie on Highway 102. For information about the job fairs, call Big Oak Tree State Park at 573-649-3149. For information on state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com.

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