Date: June 8, 2009
Contact: Joan Moody
Secretary Salazar, Joined by White House Advisor
Valerie Jarrett, Lays Groundwork for 21st Century
Youth Conservation Corps
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Joined by Senior White House Advisor Valerie Jarrett
and several hundred schoolchildren on the National Mall, Secretary of
the Interior Ken Salazar today signed a Secretarial Order establishing
an Office of Youth in Natural Resources at the Department of the
"President Obama and I believe that during tough economic times, a new
national youth program is needed to provide jobs, outdoor experiences
and career opportunities for young people -especially women, minorities,
tribal and other underserved youth," Salazar said.
Jarrett, who chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls, joined
the Secretary to emphasize the President's commitment to the Department
of the Interior's new youth program. "This program will be a great boost
to the Administration's efforts to provide jobs and opportunities for
young men and women. Providing career paths in natural resources will be
particularly helpful to women, who are under-represented in the
sciences. That is exactly the reason that President Obama created the
White House Council on Women and Girls-he wanted all government agencies
to help give young women the opportunities that their mothers and
grandmothers could not even envision."
The Office of Youth in Natural Resources will coordinate present and
future youth initiatives, the signature program of which will be a 21st
Century Youth Conservation Corps. The corps will be modeled after the
Civilian Conservation Corps that provided 3 million men with jobs in the
1930s. By comparison, the 21st Century Youth Conservation Corps will
include women as well as men and strive for greater diversity.
"The program will engage thousands of young men and women in all states
and territories, from diverse backgrounds, including tribal and
underserved populations and those who have little opportunity to
experience the outdoors," Salazar said
The Secretary said that the Interior Department expects the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to result in the employment of an
additional 5,000 young people by this summer. Many thousands of
additional young people will be engaged in outdoor programs in the
coming months through stimulus funds, increased appropriations, new
youth programs and expansion of existing programs.
Secretary Salazar also lauded Robert Stanton, the new Deputy Assistant
Secretary for Policy Management and Budget, who will oversee the Office
of Youth in Natural Resources. Stanton previously was a career
professional who rose to serve Director of the National Park Service
during the second half of the Clinton Administration.
Three career jobs to staff the new office already are being listed on
USAJOBS.gov. To assist Stanton and the office director, the order also
establishes a Youth Conservation Coordinating Council, consisting of a
senior representative designated by the head of each participating
bureau and office.
Salazar said the jobs are urgently needed because young people are
unemployed at high rates. Last summer, 3 million young people were
unemployed and the youth unemployment rate in July 2008 was 13.5%, the
highest it has been for July since 1992. Youth unemployment
disproportionately affects minorities. In addition, women are
underrepresented in jobs such as park ranger and civil engineer at the
Department. It is hoped the youth initiatives will provide career
pathways for employment in natural resources.
"Jobs are not the only reason for such a program," Salazar said. "When
President Franklin Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps
during the Great Depression, he said, 'More important than material
gains will be the moral and spiritual value of such work.'"
- DOI - <http://www.doi.gov/index.html>
Enviro-News is a service of the Water Quality
Information Center at the National Agricultural
Library. The center's Web site is at
The Enviro-News list facilitates information exchange.
Inclusion of an item in Enviro-News does not imply
United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) agreement,
nor does USDA attest to the accuracy or completeness of
the item. See
You can contact the list owner at
[log in to unmask]