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News Release 067

Contact: Gena Terlizzi, 573-751-1010
                
gena.terlizzi@dnr.mo.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2014 Volume 42-14-067 

State Parks Youth Corps expands to St. Louis

Jefferson City, Mo. - A nationally recognized jobs initiative for young adults is expanding to St. Louis this year, Gov. Nixon announced today. Through a one-year partnership with the Department of Social Services, State Parks Youth Corps (SPYC) will offer 100 paid positions at St. Louis City Parks to area youth.
“Providing our youth with opportunities to hone job skills and develop that strong, Missouri work ethic is a valuable tool in growing the next-generation of our workforce,” said Gov. Jay Nixon. “Since 2010, the State Parks Youth Corps has been doing just that by allowing young Missourians to participate in meaningful work projects in the state’s outdoor areas. And now, by expanding this valuable program to St. Louis, even more of our youth will be better prepared to launch successful careers.”

“Providing summer jobs for young people is one of the top priorities of my Regional Youth Violence Prevention Task Force," said Mayor Francis Slay, City of St. Louis. "Giving kids a summer job reduces crime and increases academic success. I thank Governor Nixon for helping to provide funding so that we can issue paychecks to teens and young adults for the work they do. I am confident a good job will help teach them the values of discipline, sacrifice, respect and teamwork."

“Partnering with St. Louis gives young people real-world job experience in the outdoors and helps improve the area’s public parks so even more Missourians can enjoy nature,” said Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks. “Over the past several years, State Parks Youth Corps participants have made huge contributions to our parks and historic sites throughout the state, and this year, the St. Louis community will be able to reap those benefits, too.”

State Parks Youth Corps (SPYC), launched by the Governor in 2010, provides Missouri youth with the opportunity to work outdoors improving Missouri’s parks and historic sites. SPYC employs eligible Missourians between the ages of 17 and 23 at parks, historic sites and natural areas across Missouri, from May 1 through Dec. 31. Applications for the program are now being accepted online at thinkoutside.mo.gov.

Since the program began in 2010, SPYC workers have completed more than 550,000 hours in Missouri state parks and historic sites. During 2013, SPYC workers put in more than 70,000 hours, performing a variety of tasks, ranging from routine maintenance work and trail construction to interpretation and stewardship efforts. Examples included treating 365 acres of Long Branch State Park for invasive plant species; repairing and repainting 15 picnic tables, 12 benches, and 60 grills at St. Joe State Park; leading nearly 1,700 visitors on tours at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park; and working to build an accessible pathway at Battle of Lexington State Historic Site.

State Parks Youth Corps (SPYC) is administered by Missouri’s Workforce Investment Boards in partnership with the Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Division of Workforce Development and Missouri State Parks, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. In 2013, Missouri State Parks Youth Corps was accepted as a part of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC).

In addition to the added positions in St. Louis, SPYC is also expanding to Kansas City where 100 area youth will have the opportunity to work in Kansas City Parks.

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