Program provides opportunity for recent graduates to begin a natural resource career while addressing urgent environmental needs
MONTPELIER—The Vermont Environmental Careers and Opportunities (ECO) AmeriCorps program is seeking applicants interested in beginning an environmental career. Recent and soon-to-be graduates with a background in environmental conservation, natural or agricultural sciences, environmental studies, engineering, government/policy, communications or other related fields are encouraged to apply.
“ECO AmeriCorps members are paired with partner organizations on the front lines of environmental stewardship and protection work in Vermont,” said Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore. “Some past members have brought their experiences and skills directly into a new job after their service year, including here at the Agency.”
ECO AmeriCorps was created by the Agency’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to provide emerging young professionals with the opportunity to explore careers in environmental conservation, while gaining valuable technical skills performing “boots on the ground” work protecting Vermont’s environment. Members serve with local, state, and federal governmental agencies and local nonprofits ranging from local watershed groups to Vermont-based offices for federal agencies like the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Applications are currently being accepted for admission to next year’s 2017-2018 ECO AmeriCorps cohort. The deadline to apply is March 31. Current and past ECO members have served as Conservation Assistants, Volunteer Coordinators, Communications Specialists, and more.
Since its inception in September 2016, 44 ECO AmeriCorps members have joined in service with more than 30 partner organizations to tackle projects improving Vermont’s water quality and reducing waste entering the state’s landfills. Midway through the program’s second service year, ECO AmeriCorps members have provided nearly 50,000 hours of service to the state of Vermont, during which they have treated and/or improved 8 miles of rivers and streams and more than 400 acres of public land. Members have collectively educated 2,500 Vermonters on clean water and waste minimization issues, and engaged more than 1,000 citizen volunteers providing an additional 6,000 hours of service to improve Vermont’s environment.
Members serve under the supervision of an assigned host site. DEC administers the program, providing a comprehensive orientation program, ongoing technical training and professional development opportunities, and payment of living stipends, health insurance, and child-care assistance. Partner service sites provide meaningful projects, supervision and support, a work space, equipment, and supplies. Members are required to serve a minimum of 1,700 hours during their 11 months of service from September 2017 to August 2018. Additional member benefits include student-loan forbearance and an AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,815 upon successful completion of the program.
ECO AmeriCorps is funded in part through an AmeriCorps state grant provided by SerVermont from the Corporation for National and Community Service.
To apply or find more information, visit the ECO AmeriCorps website at: www.ecoamericorps.vermont.gov.
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