Department of Labor lauds Job Corps’ students, contributions to wildland firefighting efforts in 2022 by US Forest Service
WASHINGTON – Amid more than 66,000 wildfires that burned nearly 7.6 million acres of land across the country in 2022, students in Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers combined to provide 204,633 total hours of support to federal firefighters – a 20 percent increase over the previous year – the U.S. Department of Labor announced today.
The department – in partnership with U.S. Forest Service – operates 24 Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers to protect national forests or grasslands. The centers offer training programs in forestry conservation and wildland firefighting, advanced wildland fire management and advanced emergency dispatch.
Administered by the department’s Employment and Training Administration, Job Corps is the nation’s largest job training and education program for students from 16 to 24 years of age.
“During the 2022 fire year, the Job Corps Fire Program matched a near record-setting number of hours spent engaged in wildfire suppression, prescribed fire and support functions to incidents,” said Job Corps National Director Rachel Torres. “The programs at each of the 24 Civilian Conservation Centers delivered high-caliber and safe training to prepare students to mobilize to address national emergencies likes wildfires.”
In 2022, the centers’ students and staff support included the following:
- 73,586 hours on wildland firefighting efforts and prescribed burns to reduce hazardous fuels and the risk of catastrophic wildfire.
- 95,000 hours on assignments supporting wildland fire camps.
- 16,816 training hours.
- 6,380 hours as Expanded Dispatch Recorders in Interagency Dispatch Centers.
- 2,532 hours in mobile kitchens owned by Civilian Conservation Centers.
- 2,592 hours on other fire management support functions.
Civilian Conservation Centers combine Job Corps’ traditional program with the opportunity for students to gain the skills needed to conserve the nation’s natural resources. Job Corps National Fire Program manager Cordell Taylor attributes the success in 2022 to a strict commitment to safety principles and practices that staff and students will carry forward as they respond to wildland fires in 2023.
Founded in 1964, Job Corps is the nation’s largest job training and education program. It provides students with vocational training and academic experiences to increase opportunities towards gainful employment and career pathways. Mostly a residential program in urban and rural areas, Job Corps centers include dormitories and a campus environment similar to small colleges. Job Corps provide programs and services to students free of charge. The Job Corps network currently has 121 centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.